The Kirov name for the Marinsky Ballet is the Soviet name & no longer used in Russia.

Many won’t know that Kirov is the top company in St Petersburg as is the Bolshoi is to Moscow. The correct name name for the Kirov now is the Vagonova Ballet Academy which has a payroll of around 200 dancers , this is the third name change for them.

Just like the man who said he was born in Stalingrad,schooled in Volgograd,worked in Petrograd, has now died in St Petersburg. Something on those lines, name changes are confusing at the best of times,but that is something else.

The Nutcracker was I’m pleased to say,not played as a comedy but with a large corps de ballet, after the first scene with the guests arriving & the present giving,the second act, the dream sequence, was a full exquisite ballet with amazing lifts& footwork,much of the music recognisable of course. The Pas de deux brought a tear to the eye & not only to mine. Colours & presentation were soft & dreamy all very fitting.



Going to an Opera was my idea, having had so much fizz & food I suggested perhaps Igor could find an opera for that last night, it seemed wasteful not to try & see as much as possible in this glorious city, he did, he also succeeded in finding us tickets  all together in the royal box……… for 7 of us.

I didn’t care what the Opera was I just wanted to see a Russian one, so, we saw the Rimsky Korsakov, Le Coq d’or.

This was very well presented & colourful visual feast, slow to start, with what I call jumpy scratchy music,but it livened up after a dull first act. They even had a John Cleese character from the ministry of silly walks !

Above the stage,that light coloured panel, was a full translation in both Russian & English

New Marinsky opened by dreadful Putin in May 2013.

I’ve shown here my own photo….taken without flash before the last bell,just to demonstrate how good our seats were & that I was there !


This was in the brand new Marinsky theatre where the premier had been just the night before for Le Coq d’or , had not been performed in St Petersburg since the early 1920’s.

The foyer of this amazing building has floor to ceiling pale yellow onyx high walls & above our heads were various sizes of Swarovski crystals hanging down from the ceiling:

The open swirling staircase leads to a vast seated snack food [ such as open Caviar sandwiches] & drinks area with high ceilings & two glass walls overlooking the city.


This was not a bar as we know them, all was served from low tables with white tablecloths, making it feel one was at a private function such as a wedding.

Amazing wide modern upholstered seats you can see, in my photo, the theatre itself  which is entirely covered /  built in smooth pale moulded wood, beech [?].

I was mystified as to why the applause was louder & more appreciative at the opera than the ballet audience, who were quite muted by comparison,one clapped enthusiastically but minus the Russian equivalent shouts of more or bravo at the opera, I was told that’s because they were mostly Russians & the ballet audience mostly tourists………..this could also explain why there were more ladies in evening dress at the Opera too.

Both Ballet & Opera were well attended by parents with their children,boys & girls, all dressed to the nines