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Mariinsky Theater (Saint Petersburg)

The Mariinsky Theater of St. Petersburg had a royal birth. The Imperial Decree created it in 1783, and from this year it has turned into one of the best theaters in the world. The world-famous Mariinsky (Kirov) theater of ballet and opera is one of the best ballet and opera companies in the world. This "must be seen" in St. Petersburg. From the 186...   Show more
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For more than two centuries, the Mariinsky Theater has presented to the world many great artists: the outstanding bass and the founder of the Russian opera school Osip Petrov performed; It was here that such great singers as Fedor Chaliapin, Ivan Ershov, Medea, Nikolai Figner and Sofia Preobrazhenskaya perfected their skills and ascended to fame. At this stage, ballet dancers reigned, among them Matilda Ksessinska, Anna Pavlova, Vatslav Nijinsky, Galina Ulanova, Rudolf Nuriev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Here George Balanchine set out on his journey to art. This theater witnessed the dawn of the talents of such brilliant theater decorators as Konstantin Korovin, Alexander Golovin, Alexander Benois, Simon Virsaladze and Fedor Fedorovsky among countless others.

The Mariinsky Theater can trace its history back in 1783, when the Edict on the creation of the theatrical committee "for performances and music" was published on July 12, and on October 5, the Bolshoi Theater of the Stone Tower was opened on the Carousel Square among the majestic pump. The theater gave the square a new name - even today it is known as the Theater Square.

Built according to the plans of Antonio Rinaldi, the Bolshoi Theater impressed the audience with its large scale, its majestic architecture and its stage, equipped with the most modern equipment and equipment for the theater. At the opening, Giovanni Paiciello's opera Il mondo della luna was performed. Italian and French companies performed in the Russian opera troupe, as well as plays and concerts of vocal and instrumental music.

St. Petersburg was expanding, and its image was constantly changing. In 1802-1803, Thomas de Thomon - a brilliant architect and draftsman - undertook a major overhaul of the interior layout and decor of the theater, significantly changing the appearance and proportions. The new, majestic and majestic Bolshoi Theater became one of the architectural sights of the capital on the Neva River, as well as the Admiralty, the Stock Exchange and the Kazan Cathedral. But on the night of January 1, 1811, there was a huge fire in the Bolshoi Theater. Two days later the rich interior was lost, and the facade was seriously damaged by fire. Thomas de Thomon, who worked on the plans for the reconstruction of his expensive project, did not live to see that it became successful.

We are going to the "golden age" of the Bolshoi Theater. The repertoire of the post-fire era included Mozart's "Headline football", "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" and "La clemenza di Tito". Russian audiences were fascinated by Latin American Hispanics, Semiramida, La gazza ladra and Il barbiere di Siviglia. In May 1824, Weber premiered "Der Freischütz" - a work that had a great influence on the birth of the Russian romantic opera. There were musical comedies of Alyabyev and Verstovsky; one of the favorite repertoire operas was Cavus Ivan Susanin, who was performed until the appearance of Glinka's opera on the same theme. The legendary Charles Didelot is associated with the birth of the international glory of Russian ballet. It was during these years that Pushkin, who immortalized the theater in his ageless poetry.

In 1836, in order to improve the acoustics, the architect Alberto Kavos - composer and conductor - replaced the ceiling of the dome of the auditorium with a flat, above which he placed an art workshop and a hall for decorating sets. Alberto Cavos removed the columns from the audience, as they interfered with the look and distorted the acoustics; he also gave the audience his traditional form of horse shoes and increased its length and height to two thousand people.

November 27, 1836, with the first performance of Glinka's opera Life for the Tsar, the reconstructed theater was reopened. Perhaps, by chance and perhaps by design, the premiere of Ruslana's second opera and Lyudmila-Glinka's opera took place exactly six years later, on November 27, 1842. These two dates would be enough to ensure that the St. Petersburg Bolshoi Theater earned its place forever in the history of Russian culture. But, of course, there were performances of masterpieces of European music - operas by Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Meyerbeer, Gounod, Aubert and Thomas ...

Over time, the performances of the Russian opera troupe were transferred to the Alexandrinsky Theater and the so-called circus theater, which was opposite the Bolshoi Theater (where the ballet troupe and the Italian opera troupe continued performing).When in 1859 the circus theater was destroyed by fire, a new theater was built on the same site, once again Alberto Kavos. He was named Mariinsky in honor of the Empress Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of Alexander II. The first theatrical season in the new building was opened on October 2, 1860 with "Life for the Tsar" Glinka under the baton of the conductor of the Russian Opera Konstantin Lyadov, the father of the famous composer Anatoly Lyadov.

The Mariinsky Theater provided and developed the great traditions of the first Russian musical theater. With the advent in 1863 of Edward Napryanik, who replaced Konstantin Lyadov as the chief conductor, a new and glorious era in the history of the theater began. Half a century ago, the Nastrynik, dedicated to the Mariinsky Theater, stands out as the premiere of the most important operas in the history of Russian music. We will mention only a few of them: Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky, The Pskov maid, The Night T-shirt and The Snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov, Prince Igor Borodin, The Order's Maid of Tchaikovsky, The Enchantress, The Queen of Spades and "Iolanta", "Demon Demons" Rubinstein, Ovest Taneeva ... In the early 20th century, the repertoire of the theater included Wagner's operas (among them the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen), Elektra of Richard Strauss,
Marius Petipa, who became the director of the ballet troupe in 1869, continued the traditions of his predecessors - Jules Perrot and Arthur Saint-Leon. Petipa zealously preserved classical works such as Giselle, La Esmeralda and Le Corsaire, subjecting them only to thorough reviews. His production of "La Bayadère" for the first time presented the scale and range of the choreographic composition on the stage of the ballet, where "the dance became assimilated by music".Petipa's happy meeting with Tchaikovsky, who stated that "ballet is also a symphony", led to the creation of "The Sleeping Beauty" - a real poem in music and choreography. The cooperation between Petipa and Lev Ivanov created the "Nutcracker" choreography. After the death of Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake took a second life at the Mariinsky Theater - and again with the choreography of Petipa and Ivanov. Petipa strengthened his reputation as a symphonic choreographer and staged the ballet "Raymonda" by Glazunov. His innovative ideas were taken by the young Michel Fokine, who staged Tcherepnin's Pavilion d'Armide, The Dying Swan and Chopiniana of Saint-Saëns to the music of Chopin at the Mariinsky Theater, as well as ballets created in Paris - Schéhérazade, Rimsky-Korsakov and Firebird and Petrushka Stravinsky.

The Mariinsky Theater underwent several reconstructions. In 1885, when most of the performances were given to the Mariinsky Theater before the closing of the Bolshoi Theater, the chief architect of the Imperial Theaters Victor Schreter added a three-story wing to the left of the building for theatrical workshops, rehearsal rooms, electric substation and boiler room. In 1894, under the supervision of Schreter, the wooden rafters were replaced with steel and concrete, the side wings widened and the lobby of the spectators expanded. The main facade also underwent reconstruction, taking monumental forms.

In 1886, the ballets, which until then continued to be performed at the Bolshoi Theater, were transferred to the Mariinsky Theater. The building of the St. Petersburg Conservatory was built on the site of the Bolshoi Theater.
The governmental decree of November 9, 1917 made the Mariinsky Theater state property and was transferred to the People's Commissariat for Education. In 1920, it became known as the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater (GATob), and in 1935 it was named after Sergei Mironovich Kirov. Along with the classics of the last century, in the 20's and early 30's. In the theater, modern operas began to perform - among them "The Love for Three Oranges" by Sergei Prokofiev, "Alzan Berg's" Alzan "and Richard Strauss's" Rosencavalier "; and ballets were installed that reinforced a new choreographic trend that for decades was popular, the so-called "dramatic ballet" - Reinhold Gliere's "Red Poppy", the flame of Paris Boris Asafiev and the fountain of Bakhchisaray.

The last premiere of the premiere in the Kirov Theater was Lohengrin Wagner, whose second performance ended late on June 21, 1941, although the speeches announced on June 24 and 27 were replaced by Ivan Susanin. During the Second World War the theater was evacuated to Perm, where there were premieres of several works, including the ballet of Aram Khachaturian Gayane. After returning to Leningrad, the theater opened the season on September 1, 1944, with Glinka's opera by Ivan Susanin.

In the 50s and 70s such famous ballets as Shurale Farida Yarullina, Spartak Aram Khachaturian and Twelve Boris Tishchenko with the choreography of Leonid Yakobson, The Stone Flower by Sergei Prokofiev and The Legend of Love by Arif Melikov with the choreography of Yuri Grigorovich and the Leningrad Symphony by Dmitry Shostakovich with choreography, Igor Belsky was staged in the theater, and together with the staging of these new ballets the theater diligently cared for its classical heritage. The opera repertoire was enriched by the works of Prokofiev, Dzerzhinsky, Shaporin and Khrennikov, as well as the operas of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Verdi and Bizet.

Between 1968 and 1970, the theater underwent a major reconstruction in accordance with the projects of Salome Gelfer, as a result of which the left wing of the building was "stretched" and assumed the form it has today.

An important stage in the history of the theater in the 1980s was the performances of Tchaikovsky's operas Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades, organized by the theater's director Yuri Temirkanov from 1976. These performances, still in the repertoire of the theater, saw the emergence of a new generation of performers.

In 1988, Valery Gergiev was appointed chief conductor of the theater. January 16, 1992 the historical name of the theater was restored, and he again became the Mariinsky Theater. And in 2006 the concert and the orchestra were presented with the Concert Hall on Pisarev Street 20 on the initiative of the artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theater Valery Gergiev.

The Mariinsky Theater underwent several reconstructions. In 1885, when most of the performances were given to the Mariinsky Theater before the closing of the Bolshoi Theater, the chief architect of the Imperial Theaters Victor Schreter added a three-story wing to ...

Today the Mari lives up to its high history. The sea frothy green building seems less extravagant than most of St. Petersburg structures, but inside contains a world of sensual miracles. The main audience plunges guests into a wave of gold, five-story balconies stretching to the ceiling, and a cocoon around the viewers, like a warm sunset. These are just settings for a real miracle, the performances themselves - every ballet and opera is a flurry of stunning backgrounds, flowing costumes and dedicated performers who tie each show into an impeccable package.

The Mariinsky Theater is a pleasure for the eyes and ears. No other work on earth can compare with the production in these hallowed halls, and as one of the most famous places in St. Petersburg, it is almost necessary for every visitor. You will come as a tourist, but leave a cultivated member of the elite music community in Russia.