The official chronicle of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theater has been performed since 1870, when the opera "Life for the Tsar" by Mikhail Glinka was staged for the first time on his stage. However, his real story is deeper. A wooden prototype of the theater was located along Obninsk Street (now 25th October Street) and burned down in 1863. During the year a new building was rebuilt, again wooden, where the first opera premiere took place.
In 1879 the theater moved to a three-story stone building in the style of late Russian classicism, built according to the project of the architect Rudolf Karwowski. The construction was conducted on the donations of the townspeople. A great contribution was made by the prominent public figure of Perm, Pavel Diaghilev, the grandfather of the famous impresario Sergei Diaghilev. The new building was equipped with a variety of technical innovations of that time. For example, heating and ventilation systems were combined, and gas lamps were used instead of kerosene lamps.
By the beginning of the 20th century, with the expansion of the repertoire and the increase in the opera company of the theater, a need arose for a new, more spacious and technically advanced building. Half a century later, in 1957, the capital reconstruction of the theater began on the project of architect Nikolai Kuznetsov. The peculiarity of this project was that new premises were built around the existing "box". The dimensions of the historical scene were preserved. As a result, in two years "the old building seemed to be wrapped in new walls": its area increased by one and a half times, and the number of seats in the auditorium was up to 1020 (previously it was 900). In the modern foyer, the facade columns of the old building have been preserved, and a piece of brickwork laid out in the 19th century can be found behind the scenes.
In later years, the management of the theater repeatedly turned to the problem of a new reconstruction of the building. So, from 1986 to 2008, at least six different projects were developed. Only in 2010, the idea of reconstruction began to acquire real outlines. An international competition was held for the best solution for the construction of a new stage and reconstruction of the historical building of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theater. The victory was won by the English architectural bureau David Chipperfield Architects.