Theatre's History

The Chamber Music Theatre was established in Leningrad in 1987 by YURI ALEXANDROV, one of Russia's leading musical theatre directors, famed as an innovator in opera, an Honoured Artist of Russia and recipient of the Russian Golden Mask and St Petersburg Golden Sophit theatre prizes. Over time, the St. Petersburg Chamber Opera Company "creative laboratory" (as it was initially conceived by the director) has evolved into a professional State theatre, well-known both throughout Russia and abroad.

In spite of its being a young theatre, the Company has a rich creative history. Over 22 seasons, the Chamber Theatre has emerged as a single artistic entity with its own unique repertoire. The Company is made up of talented soloists and musicians, many of whom are Honoured Artists of Russia and prize-winners at International and All-Russian Competitions. The repertoire of the St. Petersburg Chamber Opera Company covers works from every operatic genre from comic opera and opera-buffa to musical drama and pieces by contemporary composers, among them Adam de la Halle's Le Jeu de Robin et Marion, Bortnyansky's The Falcon, Zimmermann's Die Weisse Rose, Piguzov's I Believe, Smelkov's The Skewbald Dog Running at the Edge of the Sea and The Fifth Voyage of Christopher Columbus, Donizetti's Il campanello di notte and Rita, ou Le Mari battu, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Musorgsky's Boris Godunov (nominated for the Russian Golden Mask in 1996), Shostakovich's Gamblers 1942 (awarded St Petersburg's highest theatre prize, the Golden Sophit, in the category "Best director in musical theatre" in 1997 and nominated for Russia's highest theatre prize, the Golden Mask, in 1998), Verdi's Rigoletto (nominated for a Golden Mask in 1998), Matthus' Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornet Christoph Rilke (awarded a Golden Mask in 1999 in the category "Best opera production"), Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades (nominated for the Golden Mask in 2000), Offenbach's La Belle Helene, Shostakovich's The Antiformalist Rayok, Cilea's Adrienne Lecouvreur, Donizetti's Don Pasquale and Il falegname di Livonia, ossia Pietro il Grande and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.

The St. Petersburg Chamber Opera Company has staged operas that are performed in St Petersburg exclusively at the Chamber Theatre, among them Donizetti's Rita, ou Le Mari battu and Il campanello di notte, Bortnyansky's The Falcon, Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto, Shostakovich's Gamblers 1942 and The Antiformalist Rayok, Cilea's Adrienne Lecouvreur and Donizetti's Il falegname di Livonia, ossia Pietro il Grande. Almost all of these productions were the first ever staged in Russia.

The Theatre has toured to Finland, Switzerland, Germany, the USA, Moscow and many other cities throughout Russia. In 1997, the Theatre organised and ran a Gaetano Donizetti music festival which saw the first ever Russian performance of the composer's Requiem.

After a lengthy period with no stage of its own, the Theatre finally acquired its own home in the Baron von Derviz mansion at 33 Galernaya Street in the heart of old Petersburg. The restored building was opened on 27 May 2003, the day of St Petersburg's tercentenary. A sensation on the European music scene, the premiere of Gaetano Donizetti's Il falegname di Livonia, ossia Pietro il Grande marked the start of a new era in the history of the St. Petersburg Chamber Opera Company.