When Moscow's Bolshoi theatre closed for three years' renovation in July, it was the end of an era. During its last 10 days, the photographer Gleb Kosorukov was given exclusive access behind the curtain before it finally came down. By Mark Franchetti for The Sunday Times.
During its heyday it was Russia's cultural pride and joy. Wagner held concerts in its magnificent gilded auditorium, and Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake premiered on its stage in 1877. Rudolf Nureyev danced there and ordinary Russians came to marvel at the majestic eight-columned portico with its statue of Apollo, the god of the arts, in his horse-drawn chariot.
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