Samara Academic Opera House is one of the biggest Russian musical theatres. The theatre was opened on the 1 of June, 1931 with the Mussorgsky's opera "Boris Godunov". Ballet company was headed by the soloist of the Mariinsky theatre, a participant of the legendary Diaghilev Seasons in Paris Yevgenia Lopukhova. She found the series of outstanding Petersburg choreographers, who headed our ballet in different years.
Ballet-masters of Samara Opera House were the talented choreograph, pupil of Agrippina Vaganova Natalia Danilova, the legendary ballet dancer from St Petersburg Alla Shelest, the soloist of Mariinsky Theatre Igor Chernyshev, People's Artist of USSR Nikita Dolgushin.
At the time the Great Patriotic War began cultural situation in the city changed dramatically. In October 1941 State Bolshoi Theatre of USSR (SBT) was evacuated to Kuibyshev ("the reserve capital"). Artistic initiative went to the most outstanding masters of Soviet opera and ballet theatre. During the period from 1941 to 1943 SBT staged 14 operas and ballets in Samara. The Samara Opera House stage hosted the world-famous singers Ivan Kozlovsky, Maxim Mikhailov, Mark Reizen, Valeria Barsova, Natalia Shpiller, the ballerina Olga Lepeshinskaya, the orchestra was conducted by S. Samosoud, Y. Feier, A. Melik-Pashaev.
Since 2008 the theatre's ballet troupe level has become much higher. The theatre's company was headed by Distinguished artist of Russia, awardee of the international ballet-masters contests, awardee of the Maurice Béjart's prize, professor, owner of the title "Outstanding Artist of Perm Ballet of XX Century" (nomination "Male Dancer") Kirill Shmorgoner, who had been a jewel of Perm Theatre ballet troupe for a long time. K. Shmorgoner invited a big group of his pupils to Samara Opera House – graduates of one of the country's best educational institutions – Perm Choreographic School. Young ballet dancers Catherine Pervushina and Victor Mulygin were awarded prizes at the prestigious international contest "Arabesque", a group of Samara dancers enjoyed a great success at National Festival "Delphian Games".