The history of the Mariinsky Theatre began in 1782 when Empress Catherine II opened the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, built upon Rinaldi’s project. It hosted concerts and dramatic performances, the Russian troupe performed alternately with European artists, and eventually the opera company moved to Alexandrinsky Theatre and Circus Theatre, and the theater was later rebuilt into a conservatory. When the Circus Theatre burned down in 1859, the Mariinsky Theatre appeared in its place and was named after Empress Maria Alexandrovna. The opera and ballet company moved here, and the theatre opened with a performance of "A Life for the Tsar".
Almost the entire Soviet period the Mariinsky Theatre was called the Kirov Theatre. The historical name was given back to it in 1992. Today, the theater has the second stage, the Mariinsky-II (Mariinsky Theatre Second Stage). The Mariinsky Theatre has classics on its repertoire: operas "Aida", "Boris Godunov", "The Marriage of Figaro", "Khovanshchina", ballets "Giselle", "Raymonda", "Swan Lake" and others. The theater annually hosts the international "Stars of the White Nights Festival" and the only in Russia festival of classical dance "International Ballet Festival Mariinsky". You can also get in the Mariinsky Theatre free of charge - within the "Open Wednesday" program, and enjoy the matinees on Wednesdays in Stravinsky Foyer. You can get tickets only prior to the concert on entering the theater.