The Natalya Sats Musical Theater

Natalya Sats Theater Swan LakeThe Natalya Sats Musical Theater is one of the most acclaimed and well-known theaters in Moscow with an illustrious and dramatic history. It is forever inter-woven with classical music history as the birthplace of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.

The theater was the brainchild of Natalya Sats, known as "the mother of all theaters in the world." She devoted her life to children's theatre as a producer and director and pioneered a combination of music, dance, acrobatics, drama and multimedia. Known as "synthesized theater," it has become the dominant style of children's theater throughout the world.  In 1918, when Sats was only fifteen years old, she oversaw the founding of the first theatre in Russia specifically for children, the Mossoviet Central Children's Theatre.

 She played a huge part in developing a repertoire for children's theatre, not least by prompting Prokofiev to compose Peter and the Wolf. As the wife of Marshal Tukhachevsky, one of the eight top Red Army commanders purged by Stalin in 1937, Sats was condemned to sixteen years in the gulag, but returned to Moscow in the late fifties with her enthusiasm for the theatre undimmed.

 Her indefatigable energy triumphed and the theatre that bears her name was founded in 1965, developing a strong repertoire from close work with contemporary composers. Sats' ambition was both to create new productions specifically aimed at a younger audience, and to present the classics in a way that made them accessible to children.

 The theater's symbol, the bluebird, represents child-like happiness. The exterior combines elements of a medieval castle and modern design: the portals are adorned with sculptures depicting characters from various fairytales. Special criers herald the beginning of performances from balconies under the portals. Inside, costumed characters entertain children before the show. Real birds sing in the aviary, decorative fish swim in aquariums, and there is even a special room painted in story-book style.

 The repertoire today reflects Sats plans and, alongside new versions of fairytales such as Puss in Boots, Snow White and The Frog Princess, there are also productions of “adult” operas like Madame Butterfly and Evgeniy Onegin and bold new ballets like the Snow Maiden. The company has an international reputation for the high quality of its performers, and has discovered many bright new talents and served as a springboard for their careers.

Russian National Ballet Foundation

Once Upon a Time

Video Room

Educational Outreach