This opera and ballet theater is a more modest but well-respected younger sister of the Bolshoi, with an impressive interior and talented company. The repertoire is unadventurous, though a current renovation of the building may result in upgraded shows too. Reliable choices include Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, and of course anything Tchaikovsky. It's a good option if the Bolshoi is sold out or beyond your budget.

As with its ballet company, the Stanislavsky's opera company is strong and respected, though it is often overshadowed by colleagues at the Bolshoi. The theater itself is similarly shaped and decorated, and a current renovation is expected to renew the shine on the banisters and refresh the repertoire. Operas are staged about once a week, and tickets are cheaper and easier to obtain here than those for the Bolshoi or the other opera houses.