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19 wondrous opera houses

By: Angela Nelson on Aug. 18, 2016, 6:42 a.m.
Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Photo: sergejf/flickr

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Mariinsky Theater in Russia

This historic ballet theater and opera house in Saint Petersburg, Russia, opened in 1860 and has been known by different names as the political climate changed over the years. (Through most of the Soviet era, it was known as the Kirov Theatre.) Many of the biggest names in ballet leaped across this stage, including Anna Pavlova, George Balanchine, Mikhail Baryshnikov and more. And in the music world, Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" and "Sleeping Beauty" were first presented here.

The theater's silver, gold and pale blue interior sets it apart from the red-and-gold of other European opera houses. The concert hall got a face lift in 2006 to blend elements “of this century as well as of the last century," the theater's website states.