In 1968 on the basis of the Shketan Mari Joint Drama Theatre in the Mari ASSR was established musical-drama theatre. In 1969, the theatre opened a production of the first national opera «Akpatyr» by Eric Sapaev after the drama by Sergey Chavayn.
In 1994 the Decree of the Government of the republic of Mari Musical Theatre was renamed in the Sapaev Mari State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Thus was immortalized the memory of the person who has made an invaluable contribution to the development of the mari professional musical culture.
The theatre has passed a long way of formation and development. The basis of the young theatre were graduates of the Moscow, Leningrad, Gorky, Kazan conservatoire, as well as Moscow, Leningrad and Perm choreographic schools.
Young company with a great enthusiasm and desire has initiated the establishment of the new theatre.