Samara Opera House (otherwise known as Samara Opera and Ballet Theatre) is one of the three major theatres in the city (along with Drama and Samart) and occupies a grand palace in the main Kuybysheva Square.
Samara Opera opened on the 1 June 1931 with the performance of Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky. Ballet company was organised in 1933. The theatre has always had both classical operas and ballets and contemporary ones in its repertoire – Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Verdi, Puccini, Adam, Minkus, Stravinsky, Rossini.
It is located in the grand palace that used to be called Palace of Culture. The building stands in the central city square – Ploshchad Kuybysheva. The palace was designed by Noa Trotsky and Nikolay Katsenelenbogen, and built in 1936-1938 on the site of the Samara Cathedral.
During the Great Patriotic War the Bolshoi Theatre resided in the Palace. The Bolshoi Theatre staged 14 operas and ballets here in 1941-1943, and let the local public see and hear Ivan Kozlovsky, and Olga Lepeshinskaya, among others. Here the world saw and heard the première of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony on 5 March 1942. Dmitri Shostakovish wrote the first three movements in Leningrad and completed the work in Kuybyshev (now Samara) where he and his family had been evacuated.
In the Soviet times the Palace of Culture housed opera and ballet theatre, regional library, Soviet art section of the art museum, and a gym with sports clubs. Later the library and museum vacated the building and now it is fully given to the theatre and its ballet school.
The building was renovated in 2006-2010. Some say the renovation substituted some of the original solid materials in the interiors with their modern fake versions. But there was an added touch of glitter and fake gold that local public appreciated so much. Besides, the stage was completely updated with modern theatrical standards.
Sergey Slonimsky’s Ioann the Terrible’s Vision opera premiered on the world stage in Samara under the guidance of Mstislav Rostropovich.
Samara Opera House is home to several regular theatrical festivals: annual Alla Shelest classical ballet festival, Basses of the 21st c. opera festival, annual spring opera festival.
1 Ploshchad Kuybysheva
Tel.: (846) 332-2509 (box-office)
Box-office is open daily 10:00am – 7:00pm
Tickets can be purchased online (registration required).