The theatre has been the home of Russian ballet and opera since the 1860s and has become a mecca for both Russian and international artists. The theatre was reconstructed by A. Kavos, and in 1860 was opened as the Mariinsky Theatre. It was named after the wife of the reigning Tsar Alexander II, Marina. Throughout the years, the theatre has held several names.
In 1919, it was renamed the Kirov Theatre. In 1992 the name changed officially once again, back to the original name of Mariinsky Theatre. The theater's splendid and elegant auditorium is richly decorated and in fact is one of the most beautiful in the world.
Through its history, the stage of this theatre has seen such famous ballet-masters and ballet- dancers as A. Pavlova, M. Petipa, G.Ulanova, M.Baryshnicov, A.Nyriev. The performances here are of world-class quality. The current Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer, Oleg Vinogradov, has received international recognition for his outstanding work.