Mariinsky Theatre

The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg.

The theater complex includes the main building on Teatralnaya Square, a concert hall (since 2006 and a new southern building since 2021), a second stage on the Kryukov Canal (since 2013) and branches in Vladivostok (since 2016) and Vladikavkaz (since 2017).

The theater traces its history back to the Bolshoi Theater founded in 1783 by order of Empress Catherine the Great, which was located in a building later rebuilt as the St. Petersburg Conservatory. It was a member of the Imperial Theaters of Russia.

A permanent theatre building for the new company of opera and ballet artists was designed by Antonio Rinaldi and opened in 1783. Known as the Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, the structure was situated on Carousel Square, which was renamed Theatre Square in honour of the building.

Both names – “Kamenny” (Russian word for “stone”) and “Bolshoi” (Russian word for “big”) – were coined to distinguish it from the wooden Little Theatre.

In 1836, the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre was renovated to a design by Albert Cavos (son of Catterino Cavos, an opera composer), and served as the principal theatre of the Imperial Ballet and opera.

On 29 January 1849, the Equestrian circus (Конный цирк) opened on Theatre Square. This was also the work of the architect Cavos. The building was designed to double as a theatre.

Second stage

The Canadian firm Diamond and Schmitt Architects, along with its local partner KB ViPS Architects, designed a new building, then to be named The Second Stage, with 2,000 seats, which would complement the existing Mariinsky.

Construction began in 2003, following a different design by French architect Jean Nouvel that was halted at the sub-basement level. The new design team took over in 2009. The completion of Mariinsky II was predicted to result in Saint Petersburg’s equivalent of New York City’s Lincoln Center.

Construction was completed in May 2013, at a price of 500 million euros.

Ticket office: daily, 11:00–19:00

Address: Theater Square, 1, St. Petersburg

Nearest metro: Sadovaya, Spasskaya, Sennaya Square

Services: Toilet for people with disabilities, reduced tickets, payment by card, parking for people with disabilities, tickets 400–15000 ₽.

Performances: ballet, opera.

Wheelchair Accessibility: Not available.

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