How to Dress for the Mariinsky


The Rule of No Rule at All. 
That is basically it; no dress code. You will see everything at the Mariinsky—from jeans and sneakers to business casual. Suits and night gowns will be there as well. Women are dressier than men and finding young ladies in full gowns with companions wearing jeans and sneakers is very usual.

The Tourist Look. 
There is no such thing as tourist look at the Mariinsky. Some tourists wear jeans and travel shoes and others are more thoughtful than that. Nothing will feel really uncomfortable at the Mariinsky, even though I am told that you won’t see male gala attire even in gala performances. This discussion could be entailed to that of The Audience at The Mariinsky, which is presented in a separate blog post.

My Opinion. 
I’m rather conservative in matters of dressing for the opera. As the artistic director of the Royal Opera House once put it, you can wear jeans—but you will be missing out on the celebration effect of a beautiful tradition.

Read my Sad Stories

Sad Stories: A Lost Tradition. 
During my stay in St Petersburg, I met a visiting professor who had been traveling from Boston to Russia on a regular basis since the Wall went down. He once told me that every time he goes to the Mariinsky nowadays, he is devastated by the loss of tradition. According to him, when he started going, it was elegance all around: the ladies’ evening gowns and the men in tuxedos. The Mariinsky used to be the unrivaled elegance venue in St Petersburg. Unfortunately, this tradition has been lost and the audience is now very snobbish and rather unbearable.

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