The Mariinsky Theatre (Russian: Мариинский театр, Mariinskiy Teatr, also spelled Maryinsky, Mariyinsky) is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Opened in 1860, it became the preeminent music theatre of late 19th century Russia, and the site where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov were premiered. The Mariinsky Theatre is home to the Mariinsky Ballet, Mariinsky Opera and Mariinsky Orchestra. Since Yuri Temirkanov's retirement in 1988, the conductor Valery Gergiev has served as the theatre's general director.
The Hermitage Theatre (Russian: Эрмитажный театр, Ermitazhnïy teatr) in Saint Petersburg, Russia is one of five Hermitage buildings lining the Palace Embankment of the Neva River. The palatial theatre was built between 1783 and 1787 at the behest of Catherine the Great based on a Palladian design by Giacomo Quarenghi. The crumbling Third Winter Palace of Peter the Great was demolished to make room for the new structure, although its old foundations are still visible in the ground floor. Quarenghi's designs for the theatre were engraved and published in 1787, earning him a reputation throughout Europe.
The Alexandrinsky Theatre building, created by K. Rossi, is one of the outstanding examples of Russian Classicism. It plays the main part in the ensemble of Ostrovskogo Square. The premières of numerous Russian plays were performed on the stage of the Alexandrinsky, including plays by Alexandr Griboyedov, Alexander Ostrovsky and Anton Chekhov. Famous directors who have staged work here include Vsevolod Meyerhold, Grigori Kozintsev, Georgy Tovstonogov and Nikolay Akimov.
While smaller and not quite as impressive as the Mariinsky, the Mikhailovsky is one of the city's top theatres. It is the third imperial theatre in Russia and staged its first performance in 1833.