Chandeliers of the Bolshoi theatre

While visiting The National academic Bolshoi opera and ballet theatre of the Republic of Belarus the Head of the Belarusian government Alexander Lukashenko noted: “We have created an up-to-date opera and ballet theatre, a stage, which meets all the world standards. There is no such theatre on the post-Soviet territory”.

A scale reconstruction of the building had been carried out for three years. This building is a part of treasury of the republican monuments of architecture by right. The forces of builders and restorers were directed at the realization of the initial architectural idea of a famous Belarusian architect Josef Langbard, who worked out the concept first in 30s, then in a post-war period.

Nowadays Lida сlosed joint-stock company “Cascade” is the only enterprise in the republic, which performs the whole range of works connected with designing and manufacturing of large-sized chandeliers. However it was necessary to struggle to win in the tender auctions because western famous chandelier manufacturers, whose experience sometimes is calculated for several centuries , also laid up claim for this order. And yet the tender committee recognized the Lida manufacturer as the best. More than 20 qualitative and quantitative characteristics of future lighting articles were taken into consideration starting from art style adequacy to subsequent operation convenience. Besides, a special committee visited the enterprises-applicants in the tender auctions participation before the beginning of tender auctions to inspect production and technological potentialities. Already during this visit a high degree of readiness of CJSC “Cascade” to fill such a responsible governmental order was noted. The building of the opera and ballet theatre is included in the list of major sights of Belarusian capital and the performances of the ballet troupe take place with a success not only in Minsk, but also on the best world stages.

I dare question a widely known expression that a theatre starts from a hanger. Nevertheless a theatre starts from the central chandelier. It is an immutable architectural and art element of the hall interior, and the more refined its performance is, the higher feeling of a forthcoming holiday of meeting Terpsihora a spectator has. In the architectural theatre world there is a tradition: the chandelier of the auditorium must be large and crystal, of course. As the previous chandelier was produced in a post-war period (the first performance in the restored theatre took place in 1948), for good reasons its condition was extremely unsatisfactory. By the results of the examination, carried out by leading Minsk architects and restorers, it was concluded to be illogical to restore the central chandelier and was decided to create its replica.

The designers and draughtsmen of CJSC “Cascade” had to familiarize with the materials, stored at the Belarusian state archive of scientific and technical documents. The chandelier was created in full accordance with the sketches made by J. Langbard’s hand. Now when the chandelier decorates the auditorium ceiling and makes a harmonic whole with its inner space, it is hard to imagine that this article weighs almost 1 tone and its diameter comprises 4 meters, there are 500 lamps inside the chandelier, nearly 1 kilometer of electric wire and nearly 30 thousand of crystal pendants with the highest class cutting were used for its creation. (To compare – the chandelier of famous Mariinsky Theatre in St.Petersburg has about 23 thousand crystal pendants).

Not every European company-manufacturer of lighting engineering gets down to creating similar monumental and exclusive articles as too many art and technological details appear in the working process. Precisely this is the reason why the field of large-sized lighting engineering as a market niche is relatively vacant in spite of its attractiveness. This is one of such rare cases when art requires engineering technologies and thanks to them acquires its quite material forms, which make our life brighter and more celebratory.

A group of draughtsmen of CJSC “Cascade” consisting of a leading designer Blazhevich V., draughtsman Starostenko V., the head of a drawing office Zyryanov N., needed almost 2 months to get a complete engineering solution for the chandelier performance. The technological solutions and offers of an industrial engineer Mosevich A. played an important role while designing. More than a thousand of different in its performance and style lighting articles, produced by CJSC “Cascade”, decorate the building of the National academic Bolshoi opera and ballet theatre of the Republic of Belarus. Here is a classical Spanish line, ceiling crystal lighting articles, wall sconces in the form of a torch, large marble-lined floor lamps. It should be added that complicated decorative elements in the interior of the theatre are made by the moulders of CJSC “Cascade”.

For two months and a half the erection team of the enterprise under the supervision of the head of lighting engineering workshop Kuryanchik A. and his assistant Matsylevich M. was engaged in installation of chandeliers and lighting articles in the theatre building. To install a 3 meter chandelier at the height of 9 meters is originally not an easy task that requires good physical training of assemblers as it was necessary to walk upstairs and downstairs the installed scaffold for several times a day and the number of chandeliers with similar sizes was over ten. Among the best workers of the enterprise at installation were: Anishchenko V., Andrus N., Buben V., Dagil A., Zhidis A., Stefanovich M., Ulan V., Shadyul I. and some others. Today the capital theatre lives a full theatrical life. No doubt, our citizens will have a chance to see its performances and shows. And looking at celebratory chandeliers in halls, orchestra stalls and beds you can always say proudly: “Made in Lida”.

Sergey Gerasimovich
Marketing director of CJSC “Cascade”
“Lidskaya gazeta” 11 April, 2009