Russia is turning to a team of Toronto architects to design a new ballet and opera house at the renowned Mariinsky Theatre complex in St. Petersburg.

Diamond and Schmitt Architects was selected from five competitors around the world to work on the $450-million project, to be funded by the Russian government.

The New Mariinsky Theatre is to include 2,000 seats and complement the new Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, which opened in 2007, and the historic Mariinsky Theatre, which opened in 1860.

Mariinsky’s general director Valery Gergiev says in a statement that Diamond was selected for its “superb work” on the Canadian Opera Company’s Toronto home, known as the Four Seasons Centre.

Gergiev says he visited the downtown opera house in 2007 and “was struck by its beauty, its practicality and friendli­ness with neighbouring buildings, its superb acoustics” and its budget.

Diamond and Schmitt will be working closely with St. Petersburg architects KB ViPS. The theatre is projected to be completed in 2011.

Most Popular From ...