When living in Moscow, this is a must go - at least once. The building itself is of incredible beauty and the performances are at the top of the world-class level. Do not let high prices and the necessity to buy tickets long in advance scare you. Your experience will be worth it!
As you probably know the Bolshoi has both the original “historic stage” as well as a new stage in a separate neighboring building. Of course, the historic stage is the most demanded one, so tickets to the ballets on this stage are quite expensive. To get the best deal we advise you to buy tickets on the official Bolshoi Theater page. The sales start approximately thee months in advance and this is when you have a chance to get the best priced ones. Of course, stalls and amphitheater seats will be the best options, but consider also the first rows on dress circle, first gallery circle or second gallery circle. In these circle seats, select seats located as close to the center (in front of the stage) as possible. This useful plan indicates visibility limitation form each seat. It is important to know that from some seats you can see only 10% of the stage!
Furthermore, it is good to know that prices for operas on the historic stage are more affordable compared to the cost of ballets. The Bolshoi opera productions are also of top quality and we definitely recommend to choose something with a Russian theme for the complete experience - Boris Godunov, Prince Igor, Khovanschina or Tsar's Bride. And you can, probably, make more sense of a Russian opera as it is subtitled in English while operas in Italian or German have Russian captures.
As the New Stage might not have the same beauty and charm as the historic one, it still offers wonderful opera and ballet productions in modern interpretation. And they are very reasonably priced!
To avoid greedy middlemen skyrocketing prices on popular performances and keep sales within official channels only, a ticket will hold the customer's name on it. Theoretically it can be checked at the entrance, so bring an ID with you.
What if you had bought a ticket and cannot go? It can be returned and refunded not more than three days before the show.
10 days in advance and more - 100% refund. You can also change the name on your ticket.
5 days - 50% will be returned
3 days - 30%
To return the ticket or change a name on it you should come to "Касса №5" which is open on weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm.
So prepare your visit to the Bolshoi Theater well in advance to find an option which you can afford and enjoy!