Bolshoi to re-open in October 2011: report

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Russia's famed Bolshoi Theatre is due to re-open its doors after a controversial major restoration in October 2011, the Interfax news agency reported Saturday quoting a top official of the theatre.

"We are assuming that the Bolshoi Theatre's historic building will be opened on October 2, 2011," deputy general director Anton Getman said as quoted by the agency.

"I will not risk naming an earlier date, but we must do all that is in our power to let the public in on October 2, and we will," Getman said, adding that the troupe might get access to the historic stage as early as June or July.

The legendary music and ballet theatre in the Russian capital shut its doors in 2005 for a major restoration that was originally supposed to have been completed in 2008.

The reconstruction has proved a major embarrassment for Russia's cultural authorities and Russian investigators are already probing allegations that millions of dollars have been embezzled.

The Bolshoi stage, built between 1821 and 1825, had long been in need of major repairs when it closed, with visible cracks on the facade and performers hampered by a lack of backstage space.

The company has been performing on its smaller "New Stage" nearby but artists have complained this limits the scope of big productions.