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© RIA Novosti. Iliya Pitalev

Extortionate Bolshoi tickets leave officials dumfounded

by at 24/10/2011 19:07



Overpriced tickets to the Bolshoi theater’s historic gala re-opening have made culture officials raise their eyebrows high.


The price for sneaking into the first show after six years of restoration was up to 2 million rubles on some online ticket sales websites, although the theater’s administration had repeatedly said attending the event would be possible only by named invitation.


“We need to sort this out,” Alexander Avdeyev, Russia’s culture minister, was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying.


Not for sale


Screenshots of a website offering tickets to the theater starting at 90,000 rubles spread across Twitter on Friday. At present the website says no tickets for the event are available.


“We hoped there will be a limited number of tickets given to retailers, but it didn’t happen” a representative of VIP Teatr, another ticket agency which offered tickets to the Bolshoi gala on its website, told the Moscow News.


One ticket to rule them all


All invitations are distributed by the presidential administration, the Bolshoi’s press-service said.

“I don’t think they will do any backdoor sales,” the theatre’s spokeswoman told RIA Novosti.


The presidential administration said, however, that the only ticket they had was for President Medvedev, and had nothing to do with general tickets distribution, according to Andrei Tsibulin, head of the administration’s press-service, Izvestiya reported.


“Because of that false information published by the media, a great number of people are calling me now asking for a ticket for the gala-concert,” he told Izvestiya.


Avdeyev also was at a loss to answer who is charge of the guest list.


Access for all


Lesser mortals will have the chance to see the concert, featuring opera and ballet stars, aired live on TV on Nov. 28, as well as 600 other cinemas across the world. In Russia, music lovers will be able to watch it on Rossiya 1 and Russia Today, or watch it on screens at Moscow’s Teatralnaya Ploshchad, the Bolshoi’s director Anatoly Iksanov said earlier.


There also will be a special surprise after the show for those who gather outside the Bolshoi’s building, according to Iksanov.


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