- The theatre was built at the behest of Catherine II in 1783, who wanted that it be the most beautiful of all European theatres. Performances of plays by Pushkin, Odoevskii and Griboedov took place along with masquerades and balls. Enthralled audiences filled the three tiers of seats to watch Italian opera, and Alexander I often visited performances with his family. On the 27th of November 1836, after rebuilding work had been completed by architect A Kavas, the premier of Glinka's opera Ivan Susanin was performed, and this date has become the birthday of Russian Classic Opera Art. The Italian Opera Troupe hired the theatre in 1843 to perform their operas to Russian audiences, who listened to famous Italian masters of opera. As happened with many theatres, the building was damaged by fire in 1890 and finally rebuilt in 1896. The opera studio became the first one to travel abroad. In 1928 in Salzburg, they performed Bastion and Bastiona on Mozart's anniversary. In 1994 the theatre was granted the state status contained in its current name. The arean itself is big, providing seating for an audience of over 1700.
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