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Mikhailovsky (ex. Mussorgsky) Ballet and Opera Theatre

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about theatre

The Mikhailovsky Theatre is one of the most important and the oldest theatres in Saint Petersburg among The Mariinsky and The Alexandrinsky theatres. Situated in the city center at the Art square the theatre represents a part of the historical and architectural assembly. Now the Theatre is twice born and leaded by new director Kehman. In 2001 the historical name was returned to the Theatre and now it is considered one of the noblest theatres of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg.

Mikhailovsky Theatre, pl. Iskusstv 1, St Petersburg, 191011

The acoustics in this small and ornately elegant theatre are excellent.

Graham Watts, DanceTabs.com


The Theatre was named in honour of Great Duke Mikhail and in the empire epoch was used like tzar’s chamber theatre. There was no own troupe of the Mikhaillovsky Theatre that time, so rare Russian plays were shown there, but quite often the theater had guests from France and Germany. The troupe of the Theatre was formed there only in 1918, when the conductor of the Theatre was Samuil Samosud. Later the Theatre was renamed to the State Academy Theatre of comic opera, then to the Small Academy Theatre and after the Lenin’s death – the Leningrad Small Academy Opera Theatre. During that difficult times a lot of works of world famous composers like Shostakovich, Meyerhold, Prokofiev were shown there. In 1989 the Theatre’s name was changed again, was renamed in honor of a composer Musorgsky. The marvelous works of Russian composers Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Musorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov were played on the stage of the Musorgsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet. In 2001 the historical name was returned to the Theatre.

About building

From outside the building looks very simple: the yellow classical facade forms part of the Art Square assembly created in XIX century by Rossi. Having constructed the poor facade Russian architect Brullov concentrated all the luxury inside. The auditorium hall is decorated with plenty of gilding, velvet armchairs and braked lamps.

Repertoire and personalities

The repertoire of the Theatre combine the masterpiece Russian classical operas and ballets with the modern plays of world famous masters, among them there are a lot of premieres. Eugene Onegin, Tosca, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Le Corsair, La Traviata, Chipollino (for children), etc.
During almost two centuries The Theatre acquainted us with a lot of talented people: Matilda Kseshinskaya, Anna Pavlova, Tatiana Karsavina, Feodor Chaliapin, Elena Obraztsova, Farukh Ruzimatov and Nacho Duato – Spanish dancer who is a main choreographer in the Mikhailovsky theatre nowadays. 


Visiting the Mikhailovsky Theatre, one of the noblest places in the city, you need to follow the dress code, black tie for men and evening dresses for women are not really the must, but you’d better keep formal style. During the cold season(autumn, winter, early spring) remember about a possible snow and rain outside, that’s why don’t forget to take shoes to change and to leave your coat and hat in the cloakroom.

How to get and When to visit

The Theatre is situated right in the city center, at the Art Square, one of the nicest squares in Saint Petersburg, 3 minutes walk from Nevsky prospect. It’s very easy to get there by walking along the beautiful streets and canals of Saint Petersburg, by underground (station Nevsky prospect- Mikhailovskaya street) or by taxi if your hotel is situated far away from the city center.  Beside we’ll gladly organize a transfer for you from the hotel or your cruise ship. 

The place is worth visiting every time of the year. In June during the marvelous White Nights, when our city gladly opens its doors for a lot of festivals, the Theatre took part in a famous ballet festival “Dance open”, so there are a lot of Russian and foreign modern dance performances are shown. Generally the time May-July is considered the most romantic and nice time for visiting theatres because apart from the precious performance you can enjoy wonderful White Nights of Saint Petersburg!

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