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Bolshoi reconstruction on schedule for 2008 completion - director

MOSCOW. Aug 9 (Interfax) - The Bolshoi Theater's General Director Anatoly Iksanov is upbeat about the theater's continuing reconstruction.

"The work is proceeding normally. We'll open the season on October 1, 2008, but the company must walk into the Bolshoi six months earlier, in March 2008, to get adjusted, to restart performances in this heritage building and to rehearse them into readiness," Iksanov told Interfax on Wednesday.

"Even the foundation of the building is being reconstructed with a jeweler's accuracy. Each damaged brick is carefully replaced with a new one - made today, but with the observance of the old technology," he said.

"When all the interior decorations were removed, we saw that the architecture of the auditorium and of the stage were an organic whole shaped as a violin," Iksanov said.

"Moreover, the floor, the ceiling, the roof beams, the overhead cover, the walls and the boxes - the upper and lower decas, and the edging, in violin terms - are all made of pine, the most 'vocal' kind of wood, in experts' opinion," he continued.

"The combination of all of these features - the form (violin), the construction material (pine,) plus the upholstery apparently created the legendary acoustic quality of the Bolshoi Theater so much praised by contemporaries," he said.

"As decades passed, the Bolshoi was losing its acoustic splendor bit by bit, and now we are reviving what has been lost in our restoration effort," said Iksanov.