The Mikhailovsky Theatre opened 8 November 1833, the name day of the Grand Duke Mikhail, brother of Emperor Nicholas I. In 1859 the theatre was completely refurbished with new interiors by Albert Cavos.
Prior to the 1917 Revolution the Mikhailovsky did not have its own company: performances were given either by a French company hired by the Russian Imperial Theatres, or by the Mariinsky Theatre and Alexandrinsky Theatre companies. Shortly after the Mikhailovsky changed its name to the Maly Opera Theatre a new management was appointed and established the theatre’s own opera company. Bewteen 1920-1930 the Maly Operny became recognized as one of Russia’s leading experimental stages for new musical theatre.
In 1963 the theatre received the official status of not only an opera but also a ballet theatre — the Leningrad State Order of Lenin Academic Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre.
In 1989, the Maly was again renamed, this time after the famous Russian composer Modest Moussorgsky.
In 2007 the theatre reverted to its original name – the Mikhailovsky Theatre.
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