Today, Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre puts on premiers like clockwork, cooperates with leading directors and artists, and is all the rage in theatrical competitions. It boasts a glorious past featuring such big names as Lemeshev, Kozlovsky, and Arkhipova... But the story of how the theatre was erected is a theatrical thriller in and of itself. The project by an architect Semenov (“Svetlana”) was approved in 1903; however, the foundation of the building was only laid in 1910 after the author of the project had moved over to London. All the while, the disputes as to what location should be chosen for its construction were white hot (Drovyanaya Square, today known as Truda Square): jabs were taken in the press and petitions were drawn up... Authorial supervision was entrusted to architect Konstantin Babykin. He substantially revised the designs; in particular the modern spit in the decor gave way to renaissance themes. Relations between the architect and the construction contractor Mr. Gollandsky soon reached a boiling point (due to the unsatisfactory quality of the works performed). The fire that took place on the eve of the opening day and the decorations it destroyed could be seen as a logical continuation of the raging emotions that had been on-going. Yet, on September 29 (based on the old style) of 1912, the brand-new theatre was packed, the loges shined, and Ivan Susanin put his heart and soul into his stage performance in the premier.