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!
Seeing The Mariinsky Theater" was one of the hightlights of my visit to St. Petersburg. This theater is the home of an opera company, and an orchestra, as well as a very famous ballet company. Once known as the Kirov during the Soviet era, for anyone who has studied or loves ballet, this building might be likened to a shrine!! The Mariinsky has played a significant role in the history of Russian ballet mainly because of who danced upon its stage -- ballet "supernovas" such as Anna Pavlova, Nijinsky, Rudolph Nureyev, Galina Ulanova, and Michail Baryshnikov have danced here. The works of noted choreographers, Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine, have also been produced on the Mariinsky's stage. The great Marius Petipa was Ballet Master at the Mariinsky in 1869. These names may be meaningless to some unfamiliar with the history of ballet, but I absolutely love ballet and studied it myself for quite a few years so the names are quite familiar!
But as the Mariinsky is the home of the opera company as well, a fortunate few will be able to see & hear the opera, "Queen of Spades" a work by Alexander Galibin, this coming September, 2005. Check the website for the current performance schedule of this opera and other performances. The "Backstage Restaurant" is just steps from the Opera House.
A Brief History The Mariisnky Theater ~ today this theater is architecturally ornate and imposing, but its origins were much more humble. Situated on what is known as Theatre Square, carnivals and amateur performances took place in a wooden building on the site in 1765. Later a stone building was erected known as the Bolshoi, but it was subject to repeated fires. The current building was completed in 1859 by architect Albert Calvos and it was named the Mariinsky Theater in honor of Empress Maria Fiodorovna, wife of Tzar Alexander II. The theater was heavily damaged during the 900 day Seige of Leningrad, but restored in 1944. The Mariinsky is painted in a vibrant color of green and trimmed in white -- many notable buildings in St. Petersburg were also painted jewel-colored hues which was quite a surprise to me, but something which I liked very much.
We had the choice of 2 theatre performances, The Cossack Dancers or the Russian Ballet. I chose the Cossack Dancers to my wife's disappointment, but after seeing this wonderful performance she was extremely happy.
Well worth the money!
The Ostrovski Square is surely dominated by the big Aleksandrinski Theatre building.
Wow, it looked really impressive.
This theatre is also designed by Carlo Rossi, and it was designed in a neo classic style.
The portico with the six Corinthian columns looks great, on top of this portico there is a War chariot with Apollo in it (Apollo : God of Art)
As I walked along the Fontanka Channel, I noticed a green big building.
It looked like a big theatre, for a moment I thought ochh is it big Mariinski theatre as it was also painted in green and white (I had seen some pictures from the Mariinski Theatre in a travel guide). But I thought this is not possible seen the direction I was walking, so I took my map and then I found out that this was not the Mariinski Theatre but the Bolsjoj drama Theatre.
And it looked as the performance had just ended as all the persons came out. And like this I was in the middle of a crowdie street.
When I walked around the Ostrovski Square, I heard a band playing music somewhere.
But a soon as I reached the Aleksandrinski Theatre, I could see where the music came from.
Just in front there was a band playing music.
They were welcoming the guests to the theatre. It was great to see and to hear.
The performance in the Aleksandrinski Theatre was Russian Ballet.
I believe that must be very beautiful to see, that elegance . . .
But I had already booked two theatre shows in St Petersburg (Swan Lake in Mussorgsky Theatre and Aida in the big Mariinski Theatre).
I had never even seen an opera before this summer in St. Petersburg, but with $5 student tickets available I ended up seeing four operas and three ballets! Most of them were excellent. You can get decent prices even if you are not a student. Tickets are sold in "kassas" on Nevsky and elsewhere. I find that the very last row in the theater isn't a bad place to sit, as long as you are in the center. Russian operas at the Mariinsky Theater have English subtitles, non-Russian operas have Russian subtitles. Other theaters don't offer subtitles.
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.
The Mariinsky Theatre is home to the world famous Kirov Ballet company, and I found it to live up to its reputation as the best theatre in St. Petersburg. I saw three operas and one ballet at this theatre. Swan Lake at the Mariinsky was about as good as it gets when it comes to ballet. The costumes and scenery are always top-notch. The Russian operas have English subtitles, while non-Russian operas such as La Boheme have Russian subtitles.
The world-renowned theater, known during Soviet times as the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater, resumed its original name in 1992.
The present building dates back to 1859, when an earlier theater was remodeled and got its name - the Mariinsky. During the pre-revolutionary years the theater was constantly under royal patronage. Fiodor Shaliapin sang on its stage and among the most prominent dancers were Vatslav Nizhinsky, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Anna Pavlova and many others.
The building and its marvelous 1625-seat hall were severely damaged during the 900-day Siege of Leningrad and restored in 1944. Since then the theater has maintained its excellent reputation particularly for classical ballet. The most prominent conductors were Yuri Temirkanov and Valery Gergiev (currently Chief conductor) and among ballet directors - Leonid Yakobson. The famous Rudolf Nureev danced here too.
Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre (Russian: Большой Драматический Театр имени Г. А. Товстоногова) from 1992 after his director from 1965 till 1989. Formerly known as Gorky Bolshoi Drama Theater (Russian: Большой Драматический Театр имени Горького) (1931–1992), often referred to as the Bolshoi Drama Theater and by the acronym BDT (Russian: БДТ). The building was constructed between 1876-1878 and completely restore 1999.
The Theater was founded in 1918 as the Special Drama Company. Maria Andreeva, Maxim Gorky and Alexander Blok took direct part in its creation. The Theatre was opened on 15 February 1919 in the Conservatory Opera Studio with a stage play Don Karlos by Friedrich Schiller.
In September of 1920, the Theatre moved to current location, a house of the former Suvorin Theatre (The Small Theatre.
Tovstonogov gathered an ensemble of unique actors who were the best drama company and the best drama theater more then three decades. Today DBT repertoire includes works of Russian and world classic literature, a comedy by a contemporary Russian author, and a contemporary foreign play.
Main entrance of the Bolshoi Drama Theatre is near Leshtukov bridge on Fontanka river.
Tickets offers: every day from 11:00 - 19:00 (on Monday 11:00-18:00) with break from 15:00 till 16:00.
Prior to seeing Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" here at the St Petersburg State Academy Ballet, I told people that although I appreciate opera and symphony, I could not stand ballets and found them cures for insomnia.
After seeing a performance of Swan Lake here on September 16, 2004, I must admit that I was wrong. Ballet, when performed by the best in the world is captivating, intense, and extremely exciting. The dancers were perfect in their grace, beauty, and ballet technique. It was one of my top 5 highlights and number highlight of my nights in St. Petersburg.