Novaya Opera (New Opera) was founded in 1991 by Yevgeny Kolobov, then head conductor of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre. Moscow authorities gave Kolobov this historic building, once the home of the Mirror Theatre, for his Novaya Opera project. Built in the Hermitage Garden in 1910, the Mirror Theatre was an unheated building, usable only in summer, and was never repaired in Soviet time, slowly falling apart. The building was nearly useless when Kolobov got it. Now, following an ambitious reconstruction, the theatre dazzles with its lavish interiors. There is hardly anything left of the early 1990s amusement establishment for common people. Novaya Opera was conceived as a "conductor's" theatre, and the company has remained faithful to that concept after Kolobov's death. Accordingly, it is customary to judge Novaya Opera productions on their musical merits, without asking too much of the directing. The audience is all bourgeois here, a match for the affluent interiors.