Spotlight on St. Petersburg Theaters: Hermitage
Katya Boyarskaya is a long-time MIR tour manager, guide, and now director of MIR’s St. Petersburg office. She was born in St Petersburg into a theatrical family, graduating as a drama theater critic and historian from the College of Theatrical Arts. In a series on St. Petersburg’s famous theaters, Katya shares insider tips on one of her favorites, the Hermitage.
Almost 100 years after Catherine’s death, Czar Nicholas II ordered the renovation of the theater, with benches upholstered in red velvet. His mistress, the ballerina Kshesinskaya, was among those who performed in ballets, operas and plays in this little theater.
Today the theater is in use again, including summertime works by the Mariinsky Ballet and State Philharmonic Chamber Players. The theater celebrated its 229th anniversary in 2014.
- It’s worth it just to see the Hermitage Theater alone. Although the former royal theater of Catherine the Great, it’s actually one of the Hermitage Museum structures.
- The summertime shows can be rather more touristy than at other theaters – often with a smaller cast, too. Yet the general level of show quality is still quite high.
- Performances tend to be a bit shorter. However, tourists might prefer this after a long day of sightseeing in St. Petersburg.
(Top photo credit: Jenelle Birnbaum. She shot this photo of the Hermitage Theater from the Neva River in St. Petersburg.)
PUBLISHED: July 16, 2014