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Imperial Theaters of Saint Petersburg
August 30, 2019 19:58


The legendary Imperial Theaters are the Russian theaters that were under the direct remit and aegis of the imperial court. The "Big Three" of Imperial Saint Petersburg Theaters – Mariinsky, Mikhailovsky and Alexandrinsky - are known all over the world.
The Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky Theaters are the stars of the Russian and global opera and ballet theater that augment their glory from year to year. The Alexandrinsky Theater has developed a unique drama style of its own. With the opening of its New Stage, the theater has acquired a space for major festivals and theatrical experiments. 
The performances of the Imperial Theaters are always the most far-reaching and most talked about, with their premieres making the main cultural events not of Saint Petersburg only, but of Russia in general.

The famous Mariinsky Theater, named after Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of Alexander II reigning at that time, was founded in 1859. It was designed and constructed by the architect Alberto Cavos. The builders of the Mariinsky Theater took great care of its acoustics. Under the floor of the orchestra pit there lies a thick layer of broken crystal, which endows the orchestra with an additional “silver” sound.
By the way, here is a piece of advice for you. When coming here to listen to the opera, the best choice for it will be the seats in the 3rd tier since the acoustic wave goes right there. This is facilitated, by a special angle of the stage, for example. If you come to watch the ballet, however, the best place to sit will be in the mezzanine. Here no one will distract you, and you will be at the "director's" distance from the stage.



Magnificent Anna Pavlova, Nicholas II’s favorite Matilda Kshesinskaya, and Galina Ulanova performed on the Mariinsky stage. Vaclav Nizhinsky, Rudolf Nuriev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine broke the fresh ground here. Tchaikovsky and Glinka composed music for this hall.
The Mikhailovsky Theaterwas opened by decree of Emperor Nicholas I in 1833. The theater owes its name to Grand Duke Mikhail, the youngest son of Paul I: the Mikhailovsky Palace, located in Arts Square in the very heart of Saint Petersburg served as the Grand Prince's residence. Thus, the theater became an imperial chamber stage performing for high-ranking audience from the imperial family and close ones.


Among the stars who performed on the stage of the Mikhailovsky Theater at different times, there was Johann Strauss orchestra, Lucien Guitry, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Fyodor Chaliapin, the troupe of Sarah Bernhardt, and others. Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky were among frequent visitors to the theater’s performances.

The Alexandrinsky Theater

The legendary Alexandrinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg is one of the oldest and most highly valued theaters in the world today.


Once in the constellation of the Imperial Theaters, Alexandrinsky Theater came to be a long-time cradle of Russian drama. No other Petersburg stage presented so many premieres after the works by Russian authors.
I
n the late 19th century, the Alexandrinsky Theater developed its one and only acting school, in which drama was masterfully combined with singing or recitation.
The Best Russian Opera and Ballet Theaters
Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater in Saint Petersburg




Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Imperial Theaters of Saint Petersburg Petersburg Theaters Mikhailovsky Theater Alexandrinsky Theater Mariinsky Theater 

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