Gergiev conducted at the opening, which included performances from Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, who sang Wagner, and the supreme Russian ballerina of modern times, Ulyana Lopatkina, who performed to Tchaikovsky.
The event kicks off a series of lavish events later in the week.
During the two-and-a-half-hour performance led by Valery Gergiev, the Mariinsky’s tireless artistic director, the present and future were arranged so they faced — and followed — the past. The virtuosic stage moved up, down, left and right, but the set was dominated by a replica of part of the old Mariinsky’s glamorous horseshoe auditorium. An enormous video screen offered a shifting display of lush backdrops from the theater’s glorious history.