One of the biggest and most famous opera and ballet theatres in Russia and all over the world
Mariinsky theatre of opera and ballet was 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. When, in 1859, the Circus Theatre was destroyed by fire, a new theatre was built on the same site, once again by Alberto Cavos. It was named the Mariinsky in honour of Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Alexander II. The first theatre season in the new building opened on 2 October 1860 with A Life for the Tsar by Glinka under the baton of the Russian Opera Company’s conductor Konstantin Lyadov, father of the renowned composer Anatoly Lyadov. The name of Empress Maria Alexandrovna was immortalized not only in the name of the theatre but also in its emblem - the stage curtain by A. Golovin. This main theater attribute was desined as the train of the Empress's dress.
Drawing from the sources of ancient Northern legends, in which young girls victims of a powerful curse are turned into swans, Tchaikovsky composed in 1877 his first ballet, Swan Lake, a romantic and melancholic masterpiece. This romantic fable of ill-fated passion, dreamlike transformation, and ultimate forgiveness set to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score should not be missed.