Mariinsky Theatre

Empress Elizabeth Petrovna issued a decree establishing the first Russian ballet company (1742). Foundation of an open Russian Theatre which is commanded to stage plays and operas (1756). Creation of the Imperial Theatres company (1766). Opening of the Bolshoi (Stone) Theatre designed by Antonio Rinaldi with a performance of Giovanni Paisiello’s opera Il mondo della luna (1783). The Bolshoi Theatre is rebuilt by the architect Jean-François Thomas de Thomon (1802). Reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theatre following a fire (1811–18). Reopening of the Bolshoi Theatre after its reconstruction by Alberto Cavos with a performance of Mikhail Glinka’s opera A Life for the Tsar (1836). Opera performances at the Bolshoi Theatre are transferred to the nearby Circus Theatre (1855), ballet performances continue to be given at the Bolshoi (until 1886). The Circus Theatre catches fire and burns down (1859). Opening of a new theatre on the site of the old Circus Theatre (1860). The new theatre is named the Mariinsky, after Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Alexander II (1860). Victor Schroeter, head architect of the Imperial Theatres, redesigns the Mariinsky Theatre (1883–86). The Mariinsky Theatre is renamed the State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet (1920). The theatre is renamed the Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet (1935). Reconstruction work carried out on the building by Sergei Gelfer (1968–70). The original name of Mariinsky is restored to the theatre (1992).

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