The Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre has aspecial destiny. The only theatre inthe world, which was built and unveiled during World WarII, itgrew out ofbold ideas, strong spirit and thirst for the future. The project, which eventually brought the largest theatre building inRussia, originated from the boldest ideas ofVsevolod Meyerhold. In1927, inhis conversation with young architects, heproposed arevolution inthe field oftheatre architecture, ajump over the objective data oftoday, inorder todesign the projects ofthe future, that will bepossible inahundred years. Inthe early 1930s, aconstruction ofahuge theatre inaone-story city could becompared toflying toMars. The authors ofthe project wanted tocreate ahuge panoramic theatre, ahi-tech theatre with real sets, where the cars, tractors, tanks orcolumns ofdemonstrators could appear onthe stage right from the street. The difficult time ofthe dawn ofsocialism forced tochange the project alot. Nevertheless, the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre proved byits history: nothing isimpossible.

The Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre opened on12May 1945 with Glinkas opera Ivan Susanin. Abit earlier, during the war, the unfinished theatre building housed pieces ofart evacuated from the Hermitage museum, the Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, palaces ofPavlovsk and Tsarskoe Selo, aswell asmusical instruments made byStradivari, Guarneri, Amati from the state collection.

InSeptember 1941, the Leningrad Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra was evacuated from the besieged city toNovosibirsk. Under the baton ofEvgeny Mravinsky, the evacuated orchestra played over 500 concerts for over 400 thousand listeners; they also played over 240 concerts broadcast bythe radio. On7 November 1942, the first part ofthe Seventh Symphony, created byDmitri Shostakovich inthe besieged Leningrad, was performed inNovosibirsk inthe presence ofthe composer.

From its first seasons the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre has had agreat company, equipment and resources. The Theatre started forming its repertoire, mainly aclassical one: operas Eugene Onegin, The Queen ofSpades, Faust, the ballet LeCorsaire were shown togreat public acclaim. Ballets Doctor Powderpill and The Scarlet Flower were staged for the young audience.

The high professional level ofthe company was determined bythe renowned musician Isidor Zak. Heheld the post ofthe Principal Conductor ofthe theatre during the first seasons till 1949, and returned tothe Theatre in1968, where hestayed till the end ofhis days in1986.

In1955, 10years after its unveiling, the Novosibirsk Theatre was invited ontour toMoscow for the performance report; the productions ofthe theatre were performed atthe Bolshoi Theatre. In1957, the Theatre had its first international tour tothe Peoples Republic ofChina. Two years later, in1959, the Novosibirsk Theatre witnessed the premiere ofthe ballet The Magic Lotus Lantern staged bythe Chinese choreographers.

In1963, the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre received the title ofacademic. Bythe time, itgained areputation ofatheatre ready for experiments. On5 November 1961, Rodion Shchedrins opera Not Only Love received its world premiere inNovosibirsk. Itwas staged byEmil Pasynkov, who held the post ofPrincipal Stage Director inthe 1960s. In19751988, the post was held byWaughan Bagratuni, who staged over 40operas.

For the ballet company, the 1960s70s became the decades ofits intensive development and gaining wide popularity. Itishere that Oleg Vinagradov started his career asaballet master; the company worked with choreographers Pyotr Gusev, Vasily Vaynonen, Yury Grigorovich. The company also gained ballet stars Nikita Dolgushin, Lyubov Gershunova, Anatoly Berdyshev.

The Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre strengthened its international position inthe 1990s. Both opera and ballet companies have intensive tours and take part inthe international co-productions ballet Argo, operas The Magic Flute and Lady Macbeth ofMtsensk (together with German theatres and cultural institutes).
The tradition was continued inthe 21st century. Theatre community was agitated bythe Russian premiere ofAlfred Schnittkes opera Life with anIdiot staged inNovosibirsk in2003. The production was created byaninternational team; the Russian premiere inthe framework ofthe Year ofRussia inGermany was followed byanextensive tour around Germany. The operas Tosca, Carmen, andLa bohème are co-productions with Grand Opera Theatre inBusan (South Korea).

The production ofVerdis Macbeth drew international attention: the first Russian co-production with Paris Opera made Novosibirsk acentre ofinternational opera life. The stage director ofthe opera Dmitri Tcherniakov, today one ofthe most prominent figures inthe world opera directing, actually began his creative life atthe Novosibirsk Theatre: his first opera production was The Young David byVladimir Kobekin, composed in1998.

Each ofthe three Tcherniakovs productions in2004he staged Aida atthe Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre were shown togreat critical and public acclaim. The high level ofthe opera and ballet productions in20042011 was determined bythe Musical Director ofthe Theatre Theodor Currentzis.

Since 2006 the ballet company ofthe Theatre has been headed byIgor Zelensky. Onhis initiative, the Siberian Ballet Festival isregularly held atthe Theatre.

Crisis inthe management ofthe theatre had anegative impact onthe stability ofthe creative processes. Inthe spring of2015, the crisis resulted inasharp social conflict, which caused astrong need for achange ofthe managers. Vladimir Kekhman was appointed General Director ofthe Theatre instead ofBoris Mezdrich.