A cultural landmark since its first performance in 1833, this theater's repertoire includes Russian classics such as The Nutcracker and Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, international favorites Barber of Seville and Carmen, and a few small anthology-style performances. The theater itself is an only slightly less grand version of the Mariinsky, with the same open orchestra surrounded on three sides by four levels of balconies, all of which offer good views. A faithful miniature model of the theater next to the ticket office, aside from being a work of art, is useful for determining which seats you want. A recommended place to see and hear strong performances of international and Russian opera classics, especially if you can't get tickets to the Mariinsky. Operas are performed in their original languages and sets are elaborate. Best to buy tickets in advance (ticket desk open 10am-showtime) to avoid last-minute price hikes, especially in summer. Closed late July to early September.