Mikhailovsky Theater: St. Petersburg's Majestic Theater

The Mikhailovsky Theater is one of the oldest opera and ballet groups in Russia. It was founded in 1833 and is located in a historic building in the Square of Arts in St. Petersburg. Its name comes from the Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich of Russia.

The history of the Mikhailovsky Theater and Ballet

The theater was founded in 1833 by decree of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Before the 1917 revolution, Mikhailovsky did not have its own headquarters. The performances were performed either by a French troupe hired by the Russian Imperial Theaters, or by the Mariinsky Theater and the troupes of the Alexandrsky Theater from the turn of the century. Some of the most important French actors of the time played in the theater, such as Jeanne Sylvanie Arnould-Plessy, Rachel FĂ©lix, Lucien Guitry and Sarah Bernhardt as well as singers such as the French soprano Hortense Schneider. Both classical and contemporary writers and composers made their works known in French. Works by Moliere, Victor Hugo, Victorian Sardou and Alexandre Dumas, as well as operettas by Jacques Offenbach, were praised by Russian intellectuals and aristocrats, such as Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky.

When the Bolsheviks came to power, the French troupe was forced to leave Russia and in 1917 the Mikhailovsky Theater closed. On March 6, 1918, the theater reopened as an opera house. Shortly afterwards the Mikhailovsky Theater began to change its name: in 1918-20 it was renamed the Ex-Mikhailovsky Theater, in 1920 it was renamed the State Academic Comic Opera Theater, in 1921 the theater changed its name to Maly Operny Theater (Maly Opera Theater). in 1926 it was renamed the Leningrad State Academic Maly Opera Theater, MALEGOT for short. New administration and artists followed. From 1920 to 1930 the Maly Operny Teatr was established as one of the leading experimental stages in the Russian New Musical Theater.

Photo: Mikhailovsky Theater 

The revival of 2000

From 1989 to 2007, the theater was named after the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky and later returned to its original name, Mikhailovsky Theater.

In 2007, in a controversial move, Russian businessman Vladimir Kehman was appointed director general of the Theater. Vladimir Kehman's strategy was to spend a lot of money on ballet stars to make the Theater more famous.

He set up organizational structures at the Ballet, donated 1 billion rubles ($ 40 million) to renovate the building, and invited soprano Elena Obraztsova and dancer Farouk Ruzimatov to undertake Mikhailovsky's artistic renaissance. In 2007 Elena Obraztsova was appointed artistic director of the Mikhailovsky Opera and Farouk Ruzimatov became the artistic director of the Mikhailovsky Ballet. However, Obraztsova resigned in 2008 and Ruzimatov in 2009. Since 2009 Obraztsova and Ruzimatov have been members of the theater's artistic committee.

The Mikhailovsky Theater Ballet Troupe debuted in London in July 2008 at the London Coliseum under the direction of former British dancer Gavin Roebuck. This year helped the Mikhailovsky Ballet gain international recognition and was nominated for the Best Foreign Dance Group Award at the 2008 National Dance Awards, although Mikhailovsky lost to the New York Ballet.

St Petersburg as a travel destination

At the foot of the Gulf of Finland, where the Neva River flows, wrapped between waterways and islets, you will find the old imperial capital with the revolutionary spirit. The city of the Tsars, or "the urban miracle envisioned by Peter the Great", is rightly called a city-museum and at the same time "the window of Russia to the western world", or "the Venice of the North". St. Petersburg knows how to impress all seasons. From the spring period with the "White Nights" - when the sun does not dare to set - the bustling summer with countless tourists forming queues outside its palaces, the gold autumn that impresses with its colors and the all-white winter. 

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Photo: Belmond Grand Hotel

Autumn is a beautiful time to visit St Petersburgoffering cultural pursuits and artistic events, impressing with visits to museums-palaces or take time to relax with a mini cruise in the city canals. Taste traditional cuisine, indulge at the vodka museum or in luxury restaurants, or drink your coffee in the summer Hermitage gardens. Rejoice with Russian hymns in Lavres, photograph the opening of the Neva bridges and have fun in one of the famous bars, music scenes, but also historic tsarist theaters! Photograph the opening of the Neva bridges and have fun in one of the famous bars, music scenes, but also historical tsarist theaters! A poetic story will unravel in this magical city. As always, Clickstay villas/holiday rentals are a beloved choice for many European cities (and beyond).

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