Its stage has supported the graceful legs and feet of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Anna Pavlova, and the inspired choreography of George Balanchine. Its halls have echoed the operatic tones of works by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Bizet. This summer, its regal theatre will welcome you, culturally curious Crystal guests, for an elegant evening performance with some of St. Petersburg premier soloists. You’ll admire either ballet or opera performances from the very audience that sat Russia’s imperial corps and nobility, marveling at a stage that has seen some of history’s greatest artists jête across it.
The Mariinsky Theatre was built in 1860, solely as an opera house before welcoming the dancers who previously called the Bolshoi Ballet home. Since that time, the imperial Mariinsky has famously presented leading principal ballet dancers and internationally beloved operas, along the way becoming one of St. Petersburg’s most treasured cultural icons.
Crystal Symphony will sail through Northern Europe from May through August, offering two overnight stays in the storied city of St. Petersburg, where you’ll be romanced by the hundreds of Baroque onion-domed cathedrals and lavish palaces that line the streets. Once you enter the walls of these striking structures, the enchantment continues as you discover the priceless masterpieces housed there. The beauty of the masterpieces found within the Mariinsky Theatre is that they are fleeting and intangible, but their magic remains long after the performance.
As you plan your Baltic journey this summer, ponder these intriguing facts about this magnificent theatre.
- The Imperial Opera and the Imperial Ballet were moved to the Mariinsky in 1870, when the Bolshoi Theatre was rendered unsafe by a fire. It was deemed the principal venue for the companies in 1886, and inaugurated as such with the unveiling of the first original ballet to be produced at the Mariinsky, Marius Pepita’s Les Pilules Magnifique.
- Some of the most famous and beloved ballets were choreographed and produced at the Mariinsky, most notably The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker.
- The Sleeping Beauty was borne of collaboration between Pepita and Tchaikovsky – two masters of their respective crafts, who came together over a shared belief that dance and music can be blended together for one great combined art. This was a pioneering belief in the late 19th century.
- Prior to finding a home on the Mariinsky’s stage, the Imperial drama, opera and ballet troupe of St. Petersburg were created at the behest of Catherine the Great in 1793.
- In striking contrast to its imperial and classical age roots, the Mariinsky Theatre has a record label. You read that correctly. All releases are recorded in the theatre’s concert hall in St. Petersburg, including works by Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and, of course, Tchaikovsky.
We invite you to enjoy a profoundly enriching evening at the Mariinsky Theatre, where today, some of the world’s most celebrated dancers and musicians share their talents. This experience is available on select summer Crystal Symphony voyages in Northern Europe and must be pre-reserved.