Mariinsky Opera Ballet, Classical and contempory music Theatre  
(formerly known as the Kirov Opera and Ballet) 

Marrinsky Old and New.
Address: 1 Teatralnaya Square

The Mariinsky is one of the largest and oldest music theatres in Russia and it is known all over the world. The history of the Mariinsky (Kirov) theatre began in 1783 with the construction of St. Petersburg's Grand Theatre. The building was later rebuilt by the architects Kavos and Benois and is named after Maria, the wife of Alexander II.

On October 1860 the performance of M.I. Glinka's opera "Life sacrificed for Tsar" marked the opening of the theatre. The theatre is famous for both opera and ballet performances. Since the beginning of the 19th century The St. Petersburg Ballet group, which performs at the Mariinsky, has been known as the finest example of Russian classical ballet. The performances at the Mariinsky have featured world famous stars such as E. Lavrovskaya, F. Stravinsky, F. Shaliapin, M. Kshesinskaya, A. Pavlova, T. Karsavina, V. Nizhinsky, M. Fokin, and G. Ulanova.

When attending the opera at the Mariinsky you will surely enjoy splendid singing, magnificent costumes and scenery, and a brilliant orchestra. The ballet repertoire consists of Marius Petipa's stage versions of classical Russian ballets like "Swan Lake", "Sleeping Beauty", "Nutcracker", etc.

Today there is the 'Old Marrinsky' as shown above and then the New Marrinsky (Below), just behind the old building. This writer attended a performance of 'Contra Bass' music, at the New Marrinsky in October 2014 - delightful!


Mikhailovsky (Mussorgsky) Opera and Ballet Theatre
(formerly the Maly Opera and Ballet Academic Theatre)

Address: 1 Square of Arts
Box-office open: 11 am to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

The theatre is famous for being the first to stage the works of modern composers such as S. Prokofyev, D. Kabalevsky, D. Shostako-vitch, A. Khachaturyan, and R. Shchedrin. The building that houses the Mussorgorsky Theatre is called Mikhailovsky in honor of the brother of Emperor Nicolas I. The theatre was built from 1831-33 to the design of  A. Brullov. On November 8, 1833 the theatre was opened with the performance of a ballet called "The Cupid in the Village".


Hermitage Theatre

Address: 34 Dvortsovaya Embankment
Performances begin at 7 p.m. unless announced otherwise.

The Hermitage Theatre, one of the oldest theatres in Russia, was built following an order of Catherine the Great from 1782-1785. The theatre, which was designed by the architect Giacomo QuarenghiIt, was constructed with an austere Neoclassical style on the site of what was once Peter 1st's Winter Palace. The unusual auditorium was designed to resemble an amphitheatre, and the walls and columns were decorated with coloured imitation marble. Statues of Apollo and the nine Muses were placed in niches, with bas-relief portraits of famous musicians and poets above them.

The Hermitage Theatre's first season opened on November 16, 1785, with a comic opera. Performances were held two or three times a week and all St Petersburg theatre groups - Italian, Russian, French, German and the ballet troupe - participated in court performances, many of them with a libretto written by the Empress herself. A great number of celebrated artists, writers and musicians worked for the Hermitage Theatre. Today, musical festivals are organized and conducted in the Hermitage Theatre, by the management of the Mikhailovsky Theatre.

After Show Coffee (decaf?) or Tea and Cake?

The Singer Cafe in the famous Singer building is this writers favourite!