Ballets at the Hermitage and Mariinssky Theaters

Mariinsky Theatre

Duration: please check with us
Overview: For more than two centuries the Mariinsky Theatre has been presenting the world with a plethora of great artistes. Known during Soviet times as the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater, it reverted to its original name in 1992. The present building, which dates back to 1859, originally housed another theater but was remodeled and taken over by the Mariinsky company. During pre-revolutionary times the theater enjoyed royal patronage and has played host to some of Russia's most celebrated classical performers; Fiodor Shaliapin sang there, and the dancers Vatslav Nizhinsky, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Anna Pavlova also graced its stage.

The building and its marvelous 1,625-seat auditorium were severely damaged during the 900 day Siege of Leningrad, but was later restored in 1944. Since then the theater has maintained its excellent reputation, particularly for classical ballet. The theater rose to the dizzying heights of international success under the leadership of the conductor Yuri Temirkanov and the current Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Valery Gergiev. The theater's Ballet Department also flourished under the famous Leonid Yakobson and has enjoyed performances by the world-renown Rudolf Nureyev.

Some of the famous shows are:

  • Swan Lake
  • The Nutcracker
  • Giselle
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • The Sleeping Beauty

Hermitage Theatre

Duration: please contact us
Overview: The Hermitage Theatre, one of the oldest theatres in Russia, was built by order of Catherine the Great in 1782-1785 to a design by the architect Giacomo Quarenghi. It was constructed in the austere Neoclassical style on the site of what was once Peter I's Winter Palace. Its unusual auditorium was designed to resemble an amphitheatre, the walls and columns decorated with colored imitation marble. Statues of Apollo and the nine Muses are placed in niches, with bas-relief portraits of famous musicians and poets above them.

Since completion of the reconstruction, the Theatre has been used not only for scholarly purposes - lectures, seminars, conferences - but has also functioned once more as a true theatre, with plays and concerts accessible to the public. Musical festivals are organized and conducted in the Hermitage Theatre, and there are now traditional performances by graduating students of the famous Vaganova School of Ballet. Lovers of classical music can attend performances of the State Hermitage's own orchestra, St Petersburg Camerata.

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