Spectacular new ‘Mariinsky II’ Theatre opens in St. Petersburg

Commissioned over a decade ago, the new Mariinsky II Theatre in St Petersburg is estimated to have cost over US$ 650 million, making it one of the most expensive cultural venues ever built. Designed by Canadian firm Diamond & Schmidtt, the new Mariinsky II Theatre features a large auditorium with a capacity of 2.000, with state-of-the-art acoustics, sight lines and audience comfort. The reconstruction practices and greatest technical solutions at London’s Royal Opera House, Copenhagen’s Royal Opera, Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet and many other theatres have been employed.

The design is a contemporary expression of the existing historic urban form. The height of the fenestrated masonry base is consistent with the existing buildings of historic St. Petersburg creates a continuous streetscape similar to the streets of the old city.  Large bay windows provide panoramic views of the city and the adjacent historic Mariinsky Theatre, fulfilling the role of the historic colonnaded porticos.

Mariinsky II Theatre, St Petersburg – foyer with onyx panels

The theatre officially opened on the 2nd May 2013 with a huge production featuring such stars of opera and theatre as Placido Domingo, Rene Pape and Anna Netrebko. The show was met with tremendous critical acclaim and was rounded of with a warm chorus of “Happy Birthday” for the now 60 year old artistic director of the Mariinsky, Valery Gergiev.

Some of the classics performed at the new Mariinsky II Theatre include Faust, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Between 24 May and 28 July, St Peterburg hosts the 21st edition of the Annual Music Festival Stars of the White Nights , the two Mariinsky theatres features with many performances.

Mariinsky II Theatre, St Petersburg