Theaters and Concert Halls, Saint Petersburg
There are two Jam Hall movie theaters in St. Petersburg. They serve food and beverages while you watch a movie.
They have sofas for seating 2 or 3 people and serve pizza and cocktails while you enjoy the show. You turn on a little red light on the small table in front of your sofa for service.
The service is slow.
For the midnight shows there is no food service and the waitresses leave in 15 minutes. Things from the bar are generally good and pizza is not bad. Ice cream may taste old and soda may be served warm. But if the movie is good and the company good, it is a nice place.
There is usually an art exhibit in the lobby and bar for coffee or other treats while you wait.
Like most theaters in Russia, you reserve the seat when you buy the ticket. For a new release you can buy the ticket the day before and make sure you get in.
Theater of puppets telling traditonal stories, open since 1930 on Nevsky Prospekt. Many local families come to see these delightful shows with various scenes and types of puppets. Some shows are serious theater for a adult audiences.
The State Music Hall, near Gorkovskaya Metro seats over 1300 people.
It was the first Movie theater in St. Peterburg, now it is used for events. This is a student performance of Russian fold dances.
See a short clip of the folk dance movments here:
Theater of puppets telling traditonal stories, open since 1930 on Nevsky Prospekt.
Many local families come to see these delightful shows with various scenes and types of puppets.
Some shows are also serious theater for a adult audiences.
The Mariinsky theatre is the home of the Kirov Ballet and the Kirov Opera.
Both these companies are world class both in performance and training.
There is a lot of rivalry between the Mariinsky Theatre and The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as to who is the best. Personally I would not like to judge - both are fantastic.
The theatre here is painted in the traditional St Petersburg pastel colours. This time its Green and White.
Sadly I did not get to go to a performance due to my *** knee (as at night I was resting it so as to survive the next day), but I dream of next time :)
For anyone who wants to know the repetoir for whatever time frome go to their website, you can also book online there
This theatre, whose whole name is Tovstonov Bolshoi Drama Theater, is very popular not only in Saint Petersburg, but also in Moscow, for its avant-garde ideas. (They use to perform Henry Miller provocative works).
When they play a Première, the director (he is my friend!) invites a selected circle of acquaintances to his cabinet, upstairs, to celebrate the success of the new performance with the typical Russian “sakuski” and, of course, lots of vodka!
This is probably the best theatre in the world.
The only obstacle for travellers on the cheap is the price. Foreigners pay much more than locals. When you go inside the theatre, there are controllers, and if they notice that you are a foreigner (and they will know it at once, because of your clothes or by asking you something in Russian, and even if you speak fluent Russian they will perceive your foreign accent, as was my case), then they will proceed to forbid you the entrance.
But there is a ruse that I discovered: You buy a local ticket, the most expensive one (about 20 US Dollars, while foreigners would have to pay over 100 for that same ticket), and then another ticket for foreigners (the cheapest, at about 10 US Dollars, while for Russians would cost a couple of Dollars). First you present at the entry the foreign ticket, cross the gate and go upstairs, leave you jacket in the wardrobe and then go down to your beautiful seat (maybe Belle-etage) to enjoy the Swans Lake!!!
once known as the kirov theatre in soviet times, the mariinskiy theatre was built in 1860. this neo-renaissance building was designed by albert kavos who was also the architect of the bolshoy theatre in moscow. the mariinsky is best known for ballet, it is also st. petersburg's opera house.
Usually I prefer to watch football and crack politically uncorrect jokes about ballet dancers, but I have to admit: It really IS a nice experience to watch a russian ballet performance. The music, the energetic and elegant movements of the dancers and the harmony of both are quite a thing to see. The Russians take the ballet as a serious social event, so try to dress accordingly.
The church (sobor) was built by Italian architect Rastrelli in the 18th century. He did not finish it and later, it was used as a school. Now it`s a concert hall famous for its perfect acoustics.
Alas, I did not attend a concert but was told by our guide that the sound is great. I`ll make sure to go there next time I`m in StP.
I adore the opera and ballet, so I was so excited to go see Swan Lake at the Hermitage Theater - Absolutely gorgeous theater - but the ballet was TRAGICALLY AWFUL - The dancers were all quite large, some wearing bright blue eyeshadow - and the lead male (prince) kept missing his cues. A guard (meant to be male) was a cross dresser with lots of pancake makeup on) AND - The swan DIDN'T DIE (she was the only good one in the whole thing)
Best thing I can say, is that was comically bad, it was the BEST WOrST Ballet I've ever been to!!
The Marienskiy theatre is the home of the St Petersberg Ballet, and if you get the chance, go and see them. Both the ballet and the theatre are very impressive. Tickets can be bought for next to nothing if you can buy in advance from the ticket offices dotted all over town. Unfortunately 'tourist' prices can be very expensive as tourists are often forced to buy with short notice - given that they don't usually have much time !
If you're interested, check out the ticket situation when you first arrive in town and you may have a ballet highlight to end your visit to St Petersberg !
The Mariinsky Theatre is the Imperial Ballet Theatre, which was founded in the 18th century.
The theatre has been home to some of the world's greatest ballet stars including Pavlova & Nijinsky.
Its fabulous interior can be spied on if you go into the ticket office area and peek through the door - magnificent.
You can still see opera and ballet performances here, but bookings are essential!
You can buy tickets at the little ticket offices you see in town. Have someone with who speaks Russian to make it easier.
We saw the Swan Lake in the Bolstoj Dramatique Theater (BDT).
It is a classy old theater with loges that has it’s best times long ago. It feels like you go back in time. Front row seat are 900 rubles. We sat in the loges and paid 600.
It is a good show although the orchestra made some mistakes as did the dancers. But who cares, it's the atmosphere that counts.
There are two intermezzo's in the show, so don’t leave to early.
If for money reasons one is not in a position to sacrifice 50 bucks or so for the Mariinski, there is cheaper substitute, the Mussorgsky Theater. Here you can be exposed to more "moguchaya kuchka" kind of opera as opposed to Tchaikovsky "best hits". The price should be a fraction of what you would pay at the “Primadona Theater” and there is a reason, the cast is not the same rate and the furnishings are rather worn out. The contact with the art in all its forms is unhindered though. Have a great night!