The Hermitage Theatre was built as a private theatre for Catherine between in 1782-1787. A keen theatregoer, Catherine even wrote libretti for some of the operas performed there, and arranged for St. Petersburg's various theatre troupes to stage performances there two or three times a week. Most performances were attended by a select group of the empress's closest friends and advisers.
The theatre's fully restored interior is magnificent: it features rich decorations including statues of Apollo and the Muses, and bas-reliefs depicting famous musicians and poets. The Hermitage Ballet theatre is one of the best Chamber Ballets in Russia. The artistic director is Lev Bruskin, a classmate of Mikhail Baryshnikov.
We thoroughly enjoyed our step back in time to watch Swan Lake in this historic jewel of a theatre.