Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, or NOVAT

‘Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, of NOVAT, is the largest theatre building in Russia’. This is how we typically start the downtown tour. When we say ‘the largest’, we really mean it. Of course, everyone has heard of the Bolshoy Theatre in Moscow or the Maryinsky Theatre in St.Petersburg at least once, but it is worth mentioning that the whole building of either of them will easily fit inside the great hall of NOVAT.

Russian ballet is famous all over the world for its premium performance and skills of dancers. Russian opera has been gaining popularity for several decades. In Novosibirsk you can enjoy both opera and ballet of the highest quality, but at prices considerably lower than in  Moscow and  St.Petersburg.

The building of the theatre is a masterpiece of architecture and design. It is massive and impressive, a typical Soviet so-called Stalin Empire Style building,  perfectly matching the rest of the downtown. Located in the heart of the city, this grand edifice dominates the whole area and is visible from the distance of a couple of kilometers.

After the renovation in 2015 the inside of the House strikes the visitor with luxury of its interiors. The Great Hall surprises with its size and very naturally looking copies of famous Greek and Roman statutes like Venus and Apollo. A small but informative exhibition of opera and ballet costumes, sparkling Champagne or delicious coffee and cakes in the theatre cafeteria will make a perfect pre-party.

Not every Siberian city can boast of an Opera and Ballet house, so the NOVAT is a popular travel destination for the locals from the smaller places around Novosibirsk, and every company inviting its foreign partners or guests always plans a visit to the theatre as a special treat for their dear guests.

There are many mysteries and gossip around the theatre. They say there are complex and deep underground passageways under the building connecting it with the railway station, and the whole maze was created during the World War II for in case the Russian government could reach this rescue place, if required. Certain is that there are really 4 levels under the building, where costumes are made and kept and where stage scenery is manufactured, but no one has ever seen the secret passageway.

Impressive is the chandelier in the grand hall. It weights about 2 tons, and back in Soviet time nearly 12 hours were needed to put it down to do cleaning or maintenance. Now it can go up and down within minutes, though its weight remains the same.

It was under construction 1931 to 1941. The project, which initially incorporated a theatre, a music hall, a circus, and even a planetarium, had been changed several times, until finally the existing building was erected. During the World War II the House was a rescue place for masterpieces from the major Russian museums, like the Winter Palace, the Tretyakov Gallery, and many others.

Be sure to include an evening at the theatre into your itinerary for Novosibirsk. The season is September to July, performances taking place basically every day except for Monday. But the exact schedule is always presented in the website:

Tickets are available online, but even if you don’t see any on sale, but you are desperate to visit the theatre, just go there about an hour prior to the performance to try getting a last minute ticket. Lots of pleasure guaranteed!

If you want the team of AskNovosibirsk to buy a ticket for you or to accompany you to the theatre, send us a message! We are here to tell you all about this grand and remarkable place.

One Response to Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, or NOVAT

  1. Olja:

    Hello! Thank you for this comment. Yes, August is still a vacation period in the Opera. this year the season starts on September 11.

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