The Mikhaylovsky Theatre (Russian: Миха́йловский теа́тр) is one of Russia's oldest opera and ballet houses. It was founded in 1833 and is situated in a historical building on the Arts Square in St. Petersburg. It is named after Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich of Russia. The theatre was established in 1833 by decree of Tsar Nicholas I.
In what was seen as a sensational move, in 2007 the Russian businessman Vladimir Kekhman was appointed as General Director of the Theatre. Russian theatre does not make a clear distinction between artistic and administrative management: Thus Kekhman’s efforts to build business-based organizational structures at the Mikhailovsky received critical reviews. However, when Mr. Kekhman donated 1 billion roubles ($40m US) for renovation of the building and invited Elena Obraztsova and Farouk Ruzimatov to coordinate the artistic revival of the Mikhailovsky, (he) “succeeded in making the ballet world sit up and take notice”.
In 2007, Obraztsova was appointed artistic director of the Mikhailovsky Opera and Ruzimatov became artistic director of the Mikhailovsky Ballet. As of 2009 both Obraztsova and Ruzimatov hold a seat on the Artistic Committee of the Theatre, while Peter Feranec is music director of the Theatre and Michael Messerer is ballet master in chief. As of 2012, Mikhail Tatarnikov is the company’s music director and Nacho Duato is the Mikhailovsky Ballet artistic director. Several ballets by Nacho Duato received their world premieres at the theatre, including Nunc Dimittis, Prelude, The Sleeping Beauty, Invisible.