The Bolshoi Theatre (Russian: Большо́й теа́тр, tr. Bol'shoy Teatr; IPA: [bɐlʲˈʂoj tʲɪˈatr] is a historic theatre in Moscow,Russia, designed by architect Joseph Bové, which holds performances of ballet and opera. The theatre's original name was the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow, while the St. Petersburg Bolshoi Theatre (demolished in 1886), was called the Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre.
At that time, all Russian theatres were imperial property. Moscow and St Petersburg each had only two theatres, one intended for opera and ballet (these were known as the Bolshoi Theatres), and one for plays (tragedies and comedies). Because opera and ballet were considered nobler than drama, the opera houses were named "Grand Theatres" ("Bolshoi" is Russian for "large" or "grand") and the drama theatres were called the "Smaller Theatre" ("Maly" is Russian for "small", "lesser", or "little").
Bolshoi Theatre in 2012
The old Bolshoi Theatre in the early 19th century.
Performance in the Bolshoi Theatre (1856)
Alexander III of Russia and his family at the Bolshoi, 1883
Auditorium of the Bolshoi Theatre (before recent renovation)
Don Quixote by The Bolshoi
Swan lake by The Bolshoi