St Petersburg State Conservatory
St Petersburg State Conservatory was built in 1775-1783 to the design of the architect Antonio Rinaldi. The conservatory changed names several times: originally known as the Stone (Kammeny) Theater, it later went by the name of the Bolshoi Theater, until finally it acquired its present-day name, the Rimskii-Korsakov Conservatory. The original building was executed in the Neo-classical design and seated approximately 2,000 spectators.
The Stone Theatre is a spacious edifice; it stands in a large convenient open area, — where all theatres ought to stand, instead of being screwed up in some obscure, intricate corner, requir ing a day's search to find out, as is commonly the case in England—contiguous to the Nicolai Canal, over which is a bridge nearly opposite. The entrance is under a grand portico, supported by eight or ten handsome columns; the length of the sides of the building about 200 feet. Operas, French, German, and Russian plays are occasionally performed here, particularly the first and last, for which there are regular companies, under the direction, as is frequently the case on the continent, of government.
A voyage to St. Petersburg in 1814, Surgeon in the British Navy
It was an "exclusive property" of the government, and mostly Russian and German pieces were performed there.
The largest of the St. Petersburg theatres is the Stone Theatre (Camino Theatro), whose dimensions are quite colossal. There German and Russian operas and ballets are given. Although everything possible is done to encourage the Russian opera, it has never yet been able to raise itself to the rank of the German, which in its turn was utterly eclipsed by the appearance of the Italian opera.
St. Petersburg, Its People - Eduard Jerrmann