3 May 2013
Last updated at 14:13
A sister venue to the Mariinsky Theatre - one of Russia's best-known theatres - has been opened in St Petersburg, opposite the 19th Century original, home to the world-famous Kirov opera and ballet companies.
Mariinsky II has divided opinions in St Petersburg. During its construction, there was a petition calling for the building to be demolished because it allegedly spoiled the view, and a petition to keep it.
The theatre's main hall is designed to hold 2,000 people. (The old 19th Century building could hold 1,600 and the concert hall was designed for 1,000.) There are also a number of smaller halls in the theatre.
The theatre's architect, Canadian Jack Diamond, says he drew his inspiration from the original hall, to which the new stage is dedicated.
"This building is the crown jewel of my career," Mr Diamond told BBC Russian. "It is a great honour to work in a city of unrivalled beauty."
The lobby is clad in Jurassic limestone and onyx of Iranian origin. The building is split-level, with seven floors at its highest point.
Crystals adorn the lobby and the royal box in the main hall.
The new theatre boasts state-of-the-art equipment; stage sets can be changed in seconds during live performances, which can be broadcast via the internet.
The theatre will recruit 1,000 new staff this year. The competition to work at the theatre was fierce and attracted musicians from all over the world.
The theatre's director, Valery Gergiev, says Russia is getting one of the best concert halls in the world, while President Vladimir Putin said at the opening it had "everything you need for a theatre".
Celebrations marking the opening of the new theatre are being held from 1 to 4 May.