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Evenings of Russian Ballet in the palace theaters of St. Petersburg


Hermitage theatre

Saint-Petersburg, Dvortsovaya embankment, 34 Admiralteyskaya metro station
Hermitage theatre
Hermitage Theatre - part of a complex of buildings of the State Hermitage.
Hermitage Theatre - part of a complex of buildings of the State Hermitage.

Rest assured that ballet performances at the Imperial Hermitage theatre of the State Hermitage are important events in the theatrical life of St. Petersburg.

The stage of this theatre is distinguished by a special beauty, graceful decorations, and a unique historical tie to the Imperial past of the Hermitage that hosted performances attended by Catherine the Great. Today the best artists of St. Petersburg and all of Russia perform here. The performances are known for their adherence to the past traditions of the Golden Age of Russian ballet. Each traditional ballet is truly beautiful and the theater resonates with live music of the great composers performed by a fine symphonic orchestra. These presentations boast the participation of masters of the highest order and are treasures of ballet art. They resonate with the music of great composers and the high level of acting and sincere welcome that greets every patron make every visit to the theater a special event. Audiences see brilliant artists and react accordingly. It is important to note that the revival of the Hermitage Theater makes it possible to step back in time to see a performance just like the ones seen by the crowned heads of state during the days of Imperial Russia. It is all the more remarkable that these ballets are again being performed along the historic Neva Embankment as in previous days. Theater goers have the privilege of stepping back into a time once thought to have been lost forever. We cordially invite anyone truly interested in world class ballet to attend a performance in our historic jewel of a theater.

The repertoire of ballet performances consist of "Giselle", "Swan lake", "Sleeping Beauty", "Nutcracker" and our world famous Gala-concerts. Gala Concerts are celebrations of scene of the most famous and traditional ballets such as "Sleeping beauty", "Giselle", "Swan Lake", "Raymonda", "La Sylphide", "Esmeralda", "Corsair", "Don Quixote", "Spartak", "Markitanka", "the Bahchisaray Fountain", "Carmen", "Sheherazade", "Legend of Love", and the celebrated center piece of Russian ballet, "The Dying Swan".


The word "Hermitage" is firmly identified with the complex of the world famous Winter Palace in the centre of historic St. Petersburg. The Winter Palace is a masterpiece of architecture and serves as the main ornament of the city on the Neva. It houses a huge museum of worldwide fame. The Hermitage might just be the most famous art museum in the world. It is surely the most beautiful former royal palace of any European state. The Winter Palace is not simply a building containing art; it is an integral part of the state museum. The Hermitage, consists of a total of nine palaces and is a national treasure and the pride of the Russian people. It is also one of the most heavily visited tourist sites in the world. Inarguably it ranks as the Number One tourist site in St.-Petersburg.

Today the State Hermitage complex consists of five majestic buildings created from XVIII-XIX by famous architects and is located in the centre of St. Petersburg.

During its existence many millions of art patrons have visited the Hermitage. Tourists from around the world visiting this, "Venice of the North" aspire to visit this treasury of art and architecture. The art contained therein by all inspire the senses and result in an aura of spiritual perfection. In order to make your trip complete visit Catherine's personal theater and enjoy a ballet performance.

No visit to the Hermitage Art Museum should be considered complete without a visit to the personal theater of Catherine the Great. It has been painstakingly restored to its former grandeur and it is worth a visit to Russia just to see it and attend a performance there. Everyone knows of the theater's existence but only a privileged few have ever seen it. Become one of the few to have enjoyed this special treasure of architecture in the heart of old Imperial St. Petersburg.

The Hermitage Theatre is the oldest building in the complex of the Winter Palace preserved in our time. It was built on the site of the former Winter Palace of Peter I. The construction of the theatre is functionally independent of the main building and is connected to the basic court building by an arch. The arch is built over the channel that connects the Moika River to the river Neva. The arch is called the "Winter flute". The theater building, which sometimes is called as fourth Winter Palace, was constructed between 1711-1723. The theatre was built later in 1783-1785 during the reign of Catherine the Great. The architect was Giacomo Quarenghi, who built around 30 of the most beautiful buildings and structures in the city.

The decoration of the theatre and is unique and represents a classical masterpiece of palace architecture of the XXVII century. The small court theatre was built to contain only 250 spectators as it was intended for the imperial family and selected court nobles. It was built to ensure that every seat was the "best in the house." The construction of the hall though small, resulted in the most beautiful venues for any performance. Thea auditorium, is exemplified by grace and the magnificence of the decor and furnishings. A deep amphitheater reminiscent of an antique architectural principle is marked by proportions harmoniously combined with the lines of marble half-columns framing a semicircular hall. A small pit of three rows of seven armchairs for honorary guests is arranged before a stage. Behind a balustrade separating the stage from the auditorium, there are some more lines of seats and two lateral boxes. The walls of the auditorium are trimmed with marble and are decorated with classical sculptures of Apollo and the nine muses. There are bas-reliefs with images of known poets and musicians that further embellish the beauty of the theater.

The seats of the armchairs are upholstered by red velvet and the floors are covered with carpets. Unique lusters softly illuminating the hall from a lowered ceiling add to the ambiance of the surroundings. The architectural theme of the auditorium of the Hermitage embodies the strictest classical forms of the canons of classical architectural construction. Venerable architects of many countries of the world come to study immortal works of the great master Giacomo Quarenghi.

Before the stage an open orchestral pit is separated from the hall by a balustrade. The geometrical parities of the area of the hall and the arrangement of the depth of scenic space have no equal. While not wide the stage is rather deep and it allows for the arrangement of the needed various sets and provides artists sufficient for space for the staging of ballet performances. The auditorium is unique, it is small in volume and is so perfectly located that theatrical field glasses are not required. Everything occurring on the stage is easily seen from any seat. The hall has such natural perfect acoustics, that the sounds of music are precise and clear without distortions.


Today the hall of the Hermitage theatre and all its premises are completely reconstructed. The decor of the hall, lines of armchairs, ceiling, illumination and acoustics are restored exactly as it used to be. Modern scenic equipment, sound amplifiers and light installations with computer usage, and a perfectly gracefully weaved curtain make this unique gem so beautiful it must be seen. The Hermitage theatre is the largest pearl in the necklace of treasures of the Hermitage.

Built by the architect Giacomo Quarenghi commissioned by Catherine II in 1783-1789 gg. on the former site of the Winter Palace of Peter I.
Hermitage theatre
Russia Saint-Petersburg, Dvortsovaya embankment, 34 Admiralteyskaya metro station
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Forthcoming performances