Saint Petersburg theatres
St. Petersburg is considered the cultural capital of Russia, and rightfully so. There are more than 100 theaters in the city. Marius Petipa, a Frenchman, staged his famous ballets, which still make up the repertoires of Russian ballet companies, in St. Petersburg. The theater remains a centerpiece of St. Petersburg’s cultural tradition and is represented by many theater companies, including the Mariinksy and Mikhailovsky Theaters. Non-classic productions are also represented in St. Petersburg theaters like the Boris Eifman Ballet.
It was on the stage of the Alexandrinksy Theater that the world was treated to the productions of Gogol’s The Inspector and Chekhov’s The Seagull for the first time. Concerts take place on many stages throughout the city, including the Shostakovich Philharmonic and the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
The options are endless, and every theater season in St. Petersburg is full of interesting events and exquisite premieres. An important note for our travelers: if the theater is a major interest, please keep in mind most theaters are closed in August when the troupes are on vacation or tour. Many concerts are still staged throughout the month, however, and visiting troupes may stage productions as guests of various St. Petersburg theaters.
Many of our travelers take great interest in opera, ballet, folk performances and classical concerts, and, as such, we have written a detailed guide for their benefit.
Below are some of St. Petersburg’s best theaters.
Founded as the “Bolshoi Theater” in the 18th century (not to be confused with the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow), it was then renamed the Mariinsky Theater. It is the most famous and most frequently visited opera and ballet theater in Saint Petersburg.
It is composed of 2 buildings – the historical one (from the middle of the 19th century) and the new one, which was opened in 2013 under the management of the current theater director, Valeriy Gergiev. The second building has brought a lot of criticism from the public in St. Petersburg due to its architectural design.
Mariinsky Theater website for buying tickets online: https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill
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Mikhailovsky Opera and Ballet Theater
This is one of the city’s oldest repertory theaters. Today, you can see a variety of opera and ballet repertoires, and Johann Strauss, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev have all carved their names into the theater’s history.