The Saint Petersburg Opera Theatre is housed in a small cozy mansion house which belonged to Baron Sergei Pavlovich von Derviz at the end of the 19th century.
The history of the mansion saw several stages. It has been von Derviz home theater and performance venue of Vsevolod Meyerhold, a Soviet-era community centre and the theatre of Yuri Alexandrov.
Originally the mansion was owned by Artemy Volynsky, a famous statesman of the first half of the 18th century.
For some time the house belonged to merchants Schneider and Balabin and later to Prince Repin.
In 1883, a young Baron, Sergei von Derviz hired the architect Peter Schreiber to rebuild the building into an impressive palace of the modern era. The architect rebuilt the house, paying special attention to the interior where the modern style intermingles with the Empire style and Elizabethan Baroque mixes with Classicism, suddenly disappearing in the luxury of splendid Moorish style.
In 1902 two more floors were added to the building from the side of the river, so the property did not look like a mansion any more. In 1909 the house in Galernaya street together with part of the building on the English Embankment was partially reconstructed with the project designed by the architect A. Maksimov and this image has remained until now.
After the revolution of 1917, the mansion was plundered and was used for various purposes in the following years. At first it hosed a Bolshevik party District Committee, then the Metalworkers’ trade union and the Estonian House of Education. In 1946 the rooms overlooking the Galernaya street were given to the club of the Admiraltesky shipyard workers.
For years, the mansion was languishing, only by some being able to preserve a part of its unique interiors.
In 1998 the building was given to The Staint Petersburg Chamber Opera, the State Chamber Music Theatre.