In 1968, on the basis of the Mari United Drama Theater. M. Shketan in the Mari ASSR was created a musical and drama theater. In 1994, by the Decree of the Government of the Republic, the Mari Musical Theater was renamed into the Erik Sapaev Mari State Opera and Ballet Theater.
The theater has a long way of formation and development. The basis of the young theater was made up of graduates of the Moscow, Leningrad, Gorky and Kazan conservatories, as well as the Moscow, Leningrad and Perm choreographic schools.
International festivals of opera and ballet art "Winter Evenings" with the participation of world stars are held with great success on the stage of the theater. The international ballet festival in honor of the great Russian ballerina Galina Ulanova, which has been held since 2002, has gained great popularity.
The Mari Opera and Ballet Theater is actively touring the cities of Russia, as well as abroad. The theater is young and actively developing. The bright skills of the stage veterans, the talent and energy of young performers and directors are the key to the further prosperity of the theater.