claudialc (claudialc) wrote in little_details,

Director's Box at the Mariinsky Theatre?

I'm trying to decide which box at the Mariinsky Theatre (old stage) could be permanently allocated to an extremely respected and famous retired ballet dancer, who comes (usually by himself) to watch performances most nights. He's elderly, so something close to the stage where he can see better would be ideal. I don't want to give him the Tsar's box, but have been looking at the boxes closest to the front in the dress circle or the stalls circle (benoire?). From pictures, they look fancier than the other ones -- do they have a name like "director's box"? Would the theatre be prepared to give one up for a distinguished patron's exclusive use? The dress circle ones look to be double height -- is that right? The retired dancer isn't interested in prestige or grandeur, but would like a little privacy, so the stalls circle box could be fine. How many people do these boxes seat? Looks like 6...

I've been googling "Mariinsky theatre plan", "director's box, Mariinsky theatre", "view from boxes in Mariinsky theatre", "best seats in Mariinsky theatre" etc...

Thanks in advance for any help!
Tags: russia (misc), ~architecture, ~arts: ballet, ~theater
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Here is the theater plan: Scene is at the bottom. But the dress circle boxes above the orchestra are not on that plan; the reason is that they are not selling tickets to those; they are reserved to special guests. The box on the right is called "the director's box" (meaning, director of the theater), the one on the left is the one royal family usually occupied (NOT the Tsar's box, surprisingly: from that box one can hear better what's going on on stage, which is crucial for the opera). I'm not sure how it's called — something like "Grand Prince's box" perhaps. Those names are not commonly used, I think.
Not sure if it's relevant to your story, but there is a secret door in the Grand Prince's box that leads behind the curtains. Legend says members of royal family used it to secretly visit their favorite actors (read: lovers). I haven't seen this door, only read about it.
Here is the typical view:
You are right, dress circle boxes right above the orchestra are of double height. Not sure about the number of seats, but 6 seems to be a reasonable guess.
I doubt that the theater would just give the whole box to one person; however, they can probably give that retired dancer permanent seat in one of those boxes and most of the time he would be there alone. If he sits on the far side from the stage, he would have a nice view without being very noticeable.
Stall circle (you're right, Russians call it "benoire") are, I think, just the regular boxes; you can buy a ticket to that box.
Thank-you for your great response! Exactly what I needed :)

If anyone else is interested in my question, I found this which has some more details on the fancy boxes by the stage.

I imagine anyone distinguished enough for these boxes could eat in one of those anterooms during the interval?
Hmm, I vaguely remember entrance to the director's box being from the same corridor as to the other dress circle boxes, not from "orchestra level". If memory serves, there is a separate room behind it, so it's like this:
          |                |          |
Orchestra | director's box     room   |
          |                |          |
----------+----------------+----  ----+
          |                |          |
          |   regular box    corridor |
          |                |          |
          +----------------+          +

But I'm not sure; it's been a while since I've been in that box (and I don't even remember how I got there).
If I remember correctly, that room was completely empty, without even a chair.
It can be that I mistake Mariinsky with some other theater.
Either way, it's useful, so thank-you :)
It needs to be plausible, rather than perfect!
AS I know, there is no special 'Director' box. The boxes close to the Tsar's box (and inline with it) are simple enumerated by side (left, right) and level of belletage.
Additional question: does anyone know if there are restaurants on site at the Old Mariinsky (like at the Royal Opera House in London)? I get the impression that it doesn't, because googling for "Mariinsky restaurant" just brings results for nearby establishments. But presumably there are at least bars? Or is ice-cream the only option for food in the interval :P ?