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The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia known during Soviet times as the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater, reverted to its original name in 1992. 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 building and its marvelous 1,625-seat auditorium were severely damaged during the 900-day Siege of Leningrad, but later restored in 1944. Since then the theater has maintained its excellent reputation, particularly for classical ballet. The theater rose to the dizzying heights of international success under the leadership of the conductor Yuri Temirkanov and the current Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Valery Gergiev. The theater’s Ballet Department also flourished under the famous Leonid Yakobson and has enjoyed performances by the world-renown Rudolf Nureev.
During pre-revolutionary times the theater enjoyed royal patronage and has played host to some of Russia’s most celebrated classical performers; Fiodor Shaliapin sang there, and the dancers Vatslav Nizhinsky, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Anna Pavlova also graced its stage.
Location: 1, Teatralnaya Ploschad.