Go to Mariinsky Theatre during your trip in Saint Petersburg! In this blog post, I will share with you some interesting facts about the history of Russian ballet through this beautiful theatre of St Petersburg, as well as give practical information about the program, Mariinsky Theatre tickets and dress code, but also where to sit in Mariinsky Theatre.
Stages of Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg
History. The history of the Mariinsky Theatre begins in 1783 with the oukaz (order in Russian) of the Empress Catherine II who then orders the opening of a theatre in the square which was called Karousselnaya at the time. The theatre is part of the Imperial Theatres of Russia. French and Italian troupes are invited to Saint Petersburg, as well as dancers, choreographers or ballet masters. Among them are Charles-Louis Didelot, for example. It is with the latter that the Russian ballet begins to have a world fame, and in particular with the troops of the Mariinsky Theatre. The building of the Mariinsky Theatre, as we know it today, was built in 1860. Baroque in style, the theatre was named in honor of Tsarina Marie Alexandrovna, wife of Alexander II.
Today, the Mariinsky Theatre is made up of several stages in Saint Petersburg (and one in Vladivostok):
- The historic stage, the entrance of which is located on Teatralnaya Square, 1. Explore the interiors of the historic Mariinsky scene (virtual tour).
- The new stage of the theatre, called Mariinsky II, is located in a building of modern architecture on Dekabristov Street, at number 34. Explore the interiors of the new stage thanks to the virtual tour of the Mariinky II.
- Concert halls in Mariinski II (in English: chamber venues) are called: Prokofiev Hall, Stravinsky Foyer, Shchedrin Hall, but also Mussorgsky Hall.
- The concert hall is located in Dekabristov Street, at number 37: virtual tour of the concert hall.
Mariinsky Theatre program
I advise you to go rather to see a ballet in Saint-Petersburg, rather than an opera, because of the language. In the historic room, I did not see any translated subtitles. However, there is English subtitling in the new scene. We went to see Carmen (in French, therefore), but I still needed the subtitles;).
For the moment, the site of the Mariinsky Theatre only exists in Russian and English versions. You will find the program on the theatre’s official website.
You will see directly in which rooms the presentation will be played. Which is very handy if you absolutely want to see the historical scene (“Mariinsky Theatre” on the site). You can also sort the performances by location, using the “All venues” filter, as well as by type, using the “All events” filter.
Mariinsky Theatre Festivals
Here are some examples for the 2019-2020 season:
- The International Organ Festival: from October 11 to 19, 2019
- Saint Petersburg International Ballet Festival: March 11-22, 2020
- Harp Festival: March 19-22, 2020
How to buy Marrinsky Theatre tickets?
In advance. Tickets for major performances sell out pretty quickly. The Saint-Pétersbourgeois are also quite “greedy” in the matter. In addition, many travelers from all over the world wish to see the historic scene of the famous theatre. I would therefore advise to take the tickets in advance, but once there it is also possible.
Buy tickets at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg without commission
For me, the only solution that I have tested and approved myself remains the official site of the Mariinsky Theatre. The most practical solution remains the purchase via their site, because this avoids commissions. Please note: I have already seen several sites that “pretend” to the theatre site.
Below you can find how to buy tickets on the official website.
Buy Mariinsky Theatre tickets in city ticket offices
Another solution is to buy tickets in the city’s “theatrical cash desks”. They are everywhere, several on Nevsky. They charge a commission. Before going there, I advise you to prepare on a sheet the presentation you want to see (in Russian), the date, the schedule, the number of places and even possibly the places (located on the Mariinsky website in advanced). Thus, you will facilitate communication and already have an idea of the price. In our Saint Petersburg travel guide, you will find more practical information, such as transport to Saint Petersburg or walking routes.
Ticket buying tutorial on the official website of the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg
Note: The purchase of certain performances goes through another platform-partner of the theatre. When this is the case, the site interface is only in Russian, but you can use tools like Google Translate to translate a few important words during the purchase. In general, you will not need this and the tutorial below will suffice.
Step 1: Register on the Mariinsky Theatre website to purchase tickets
Register on the site, by going to this link. Below is the Italian translation. Mariinsky sends you a confirmation email.
Step 2: Find your show
See the theatre program on the official website. As indicated above, if you wish to see the historical scene of Mariinsky, choose well the representations with indication “Mariinsky Theatre”, of blue-turquoise color. Press “Buy tickets” to choose the presentation that interests you.
Step 3: Choose your seat
Choose your seats. These are the “Full Rate” rates that must be taken into account. The “Special rates” are reduced rates for Russian citizens or residents only. Once the seats have been selected, press the “Add to basket” button.
Step 4: Check your basket
Check your basket. To confirm, press “Complete purchase”. To cancel the tickets, press the “Remove from basket” buttons.
Step 5: Give your name
Check your selection again, fill in the field with the first and last name of one of the people who will attend the performance (in case you have to validate your identities at the entrance to the theatre), choose your payment method, tick the “Conditions” box and press the bottom button to confirm.
Step 6: Pay online to complete ticket purchase
You access the online payment page. Payment will be made in rubles. As is usually the case for online payments, you must provide your credit card details.
Step 7: Collect your tickets for the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg
As soon as payment is made, you will receive a confirmation from Mariinsky by email, as well as your electronic tickets in the format of a PDF file. All tickets are in one file!
Congratulations: all you have to do is print them and keep them carefully until the day of the performance!
Refund of Mariinsky Theatre tickets
Tickets can be refunded if you bought them on the official Mariinsky website. All information is in Mariinsky’s terms of sale. If you request a refund 7 days before the performance, 100% of the ticket price is refunded. If less than 7 days, the reimbursement rate drops.
Where to sit in Mariinsky Theatre? Is there any dress code in Mariinsky Theatre?
According to our experience, the best places where to sit in Mariinsky Theatre are in the center. The places on the side, however the level, were not as good as at the center. So, even when we had places on the high level, but near the center, that was a good experience.
The dress code in Mariinsky Theatre is not too strict and classic. For example, you will probably see many people in jeans. But there are also some who are wearing dresses. However, I would recommend to avoir shorts or T-shirts.
I hope this article made you want to discover the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and was useful for buying ballet, opera or concert tickets, and also to know where to sit in Mariinsky Theatre and what is the dress code inside.