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THEATRES

 

 

Mariinsky Theatre

The Mariinsky T

heatre is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint-Petersburg. Opened in 1860, it became the preeminent music theatre of late 19th century Russia, where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov received their premieres. The Mariinsky Theatre is home to the Mariinsky Ballet, Mariinsky Opera and Mariinsky Orchestra. Since Yuri Temirkanov's retirement in 1988, the conductor Valery Gergiev has served as its general director.
The Imperial opera and ballet theatre in Saint Petersburg was established in 1783 at the behest of Catherine the Great, although an Italian ballet troupe had performed at the Russian court since the early 18th century. Originally, the ballet and opera performances were given in the wooden Karl Knipper Theatre on Tsaritsa Meadow, near the present-day Tripartite Bridge (also known as the Little Theatre or the Maly Theatre). The Hermitage Theatre, next door to the Winter Palace, was used to host performances for an elite audience of aristocratic guests invited by the Empress.
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 Theatre Square. Both names were coined to distinguish it from the wooden Little Theatre: "Kamenny" is the Russian word for "stone" and "Bolshoi" is the Russian word for "big". 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.

Alexandrinsky Theatre

The Alexandrinsky Theatre rivals the Fyodor Volkov Theatre in Yaroslavl as the oldest Russian national theatre. It was founded on 30 August 1756 by a Senate decree signed by Elizabeth of Russia to play Fonvizin, Lukin, Racine, Molière, Beaumarchais, Voltaire, and Derzhavin.
Since 1832, the theatre has occupied an Empire-style building that Carlo Rossi designed. It was built in 1828-1832 on Alexandrinsky Square (now Ostrovsky Square), which is situated on Nevsky Prospekt between the Russian State Library and Anichkov Palace. The theatre and the square were named after Empress consort Alexandra Feodorovna. The building is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Saint-Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
The premières of numerous Russian plays have been performed at the stage of the Alexandrinsky, including plays by Alexandr Griboyedov, Aleksandr Ostrovsky, and Anton Chekhov. Famous directors who have staged work there include Vsevolod Meyerhold, Grigori Kozintsev, Georgy Tovstonogov, and Nikolay Akimov.
On 30 August 2006 the theatre reopened after reconstruction.

Hermitage Theatre

The Hermitage Theatre is one of five Hermitage buildings lining the Palace Embankment of the Neva River.
The palatial theatre was built between 1783 and 1787 at the behest of Catherine the Great to a Palladian design by Giacomo Quarenghi. The crumbling Third Winter Palace of Peter the Great was demolished to make room for the new structure, although its old foundations are still visible in the ground floor. Quarenghi's designs for the theatre were engraved and published in 1787, earning him a European reputation.
Mathilde Kschessinska, Anna Pavlova, and Fyodor Chaliapin were among the great artists who performed at the Hermitage Theatre for the last Russian tsar. Among the ballets performed there was the premiere of Marius Petipa's Harlequinade, in 1900. The Bolsheviks closed the theatre and utilised the building for administrative purposes. It was not until 1991 that performances were resumed on this stage, with the likes of Svyatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich and Yelena Obraztsova appearing as guest stars.

Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater

Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater formerly known as Gorky Bolshoi Drama Theater (19311992), often referred to as the Bolshoi Drama Theater and by the acronym BDT, is a theater in Saint-Petersburg, that is considered one of the best Russian theaters. The theater is named after its long time director Georgy Tovstonogov.
The theater is also encountered in literature as the Great Drama Theater or Great Dramatic Theater of Leningrad.

Circus Ciniselli

Circus Ciniselli was the first stone-built circus in Russia; it is situated beside the Fontanka in Saint Petersburg. The building, which still stands, was opened on 26 December 1877, with a large stage (13 meters in diameter) and stables (housing 150 horses). The architect was Vasily Kenel.
The Italian circus performer Gaetano Ciniselli (1815-81) first visited Saint-Petersburg in 1847, as part of the troupe of Alessandro Guerra. He returned to Russia in 1869, this time working with Carl-Magnus Hinne, his brother-in-law, in his circuses in Moscow and Saint-Petersbrug. Ciniselli settled in Russia, and inherited Hinne's circuses in 1875.
The Ciniselli family managed the circus until 1921, when they emigrated. They would often lease the building to stage high-profile entertainment events, such as the World Wrestling Championship in 1898 and Max Reinhardt's production of Oedipus Rex which featured Alexander Moissi in 1911. In 1918 Iury Iurev revived the play using the original set. This was followed by the production of Macbeth featuring Maria Andreeva and Fedor Chaliapin.
Two halls in the building house the first circus museum in the world, opened in 1928 and boasting more than 80,000 exhibits as of 2002.