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Russian President Attends Theater Opening In St. Petersburg

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening night of the Mariinsky II theater in St. Petersburg.

The ballet and opera house on May 2 unveiled its new stage, which has been dubbed the "transformer stage" due to technological innovations that allow sections to rise or fall.

Putin congratulated those who worked to construct the $700 million building near the original Mariinsky Theater, which was built in 1860.

Putin also congratulated the performers, praising them for helping to inspire Russia’s younger generation to participate in the arts.

The list of performers for the gala event included renowned Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, and the famous Russian ballerinas Ulyana Lopatkina and Diana Vishneva.

Famed conductor Valery Gergiev, the Mariinsky's artistic director to whom Putin presented a Hero of Labor award on May 1, led the orchestra.

Based on reporting by Rossiya TV and ITAR-TASS