(Editor's note: Elsa Evans-Kummer, of Onchiota, is living in Gorno-Altaisk, in the Altai Republic in Siberia, Russia, with her mother and sister until Dec. 1. She plans to write a regular column for the Just for Kids page about her impressions of living there.)
During my recent five-day vacation in Moscow, I was privileged enough to witness something most people may only dream of. I am very proud to inform anyone who may be reading that I saw an Italian opera in the Bolshoi Theater.
Walking in was like stepping back into the 1800s because that is the style of the building and the furniture. In fact the only thing that was not styled in 1800s fashion were the people who, though dressed in fancy attire, were not wearing ball gowns.
Here are a few facts about the Bolshoi. First, six months ago it was refurbished. Thankfully the design and color were kept the same, a rich red with gold-leaf accents. The refurbishing took six years. Second, this theater is pretty old. There has been a theater across from Red Square since 1776. (Until 1812, when it burned down, a theater called the Petrovka Theater stood were the Bolshoi stands now.) In 1825 the new Bolshoi Theater held its grand opening. And, on Friday Oct. 12, I went and saw La Traviata, an Italian opera.
We were in the fourth balcony (the cheap seats), so we had a nice view of the grand chandelier as well as the performance. We also got a pretty nice view of the ceiling. It was, like any other ceiling you may expect to find in an old important Russian building, painted with angels and such things. The opera was a tragic romance about a woman of the wrong sort with tuberculosis who could not marry the gentleman she loved. From what I've heard of operas, this is to be expected. Despite the sadness, her death in the finale and the other depressing parts, it was still very beautiful and certainly made an impression.
Oct. 12 was not altogether a pleasant day. It was drizzly and gray, but for some reason the dreary effect such days often have on me did not happen. No, that day i spent traipsing around Moscow with a rainbow umbrella (which I lost by the end of our expedition) and two Moscow State University students who were kind enough to show us their "hometown." It really is a beautiful city. They say everyone who comes to Moscow always comes back. I completely believe it. New York City is big - 319 square miles to be exact. Think of all the things to see in that city ... countless. Now double that, and that's the size of Moscow. Just think about the history that has taken place in Moscow. There are buildings that have been around since the 1500s. I'm generally not a fan of cities, but this one's amazing! So to wrap up the rambling, I agree, that one time in Moscow and you're guaranteed another trip.