The National Theater (Czech: Národní divadlo) is made up of 4 artistic companies: the Opera, Drama, Ballet, and Laterna Magika. It artistically manages 4 stages in 3 historical buildings: the National Theater (1883), the State Opera (1888), and the Estates Theater (1783), plus the more recently opened New Stage (1983). The Opera, Drama, and Ballet companies perform not only titles from the ample classical legacy, in addition to Czech works, they also focus on contemporary international creation.
The National Theater in Prague is known as the alma mater of Czech opera, and as the national monument of Czech history and art. The National Theater is the prime stage of the Czech Republic. It is also one of the symbols of national identity and a part of the European cultural space, with a tradition spanning more than 130 years. It is the bearer of the national cultural heritage, and a space for free artistic creation.
The National Theater belongs to the most important Czech cultural institutions, with a rich artistic tradition, which helped to preserve and develop the most important features of the nation–the Czech language and a sense for a Czech musical and dramatic way of thinking.
Today the National Theater consists of 3 artistic ensembles: opera, ballet, and drama. They alternate in their performances in the historic building of the National Theater, in the Theater of the Estates and in the Kolowrat Theater. All 3 artistic ensembles select their repertoire both from classical heritage, and modern authors.
The National Theater was opened for the first time on 11 June 1881, to honor the visit of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria. Bedřich Smetana's opera Libuše was given its world premiere, conducted by Adolf Čech. Another 11 performances were presented after that. Then the theater was closed down to enable the completion of the finishing touches. While this work was under way a fire broke out on 12 August 1881, which destroyed the copper dome, the auditorium and the stage of the theater.
In 1989 the general director of the National Theater, composer Jiří Pauer was dismissed from his post because of his support for the policies of the former Communist Czechoslovak government. Pauer locked all staff out of the National and Smetana theaters on 17 November 1989 to prevent members of the opera, ballet and drama companies from staging protest performances. After a 3-week strike Pauer was replaced by Ivo Žídek.
The State Opera (Czech: Státní opera), is an opera house in Prague, Czech Republic. It is part of the National Theater of the Czech Republic, founded by Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic in 1992. The theater itself originally opened in 1888 as the New German Theater and from 1949 to 1989 it was known as the Smetana Theater. More recently it was known as the Prague State Opera. Currently it is home to approximately 300 performances a year.
The history of the theater currently known as the Prague State Opera dates back to the late 19th Century. While often overshadowed by the more prominent National Theater of Prague, the company has its own distinct history. The birth of a magnificent Czech Theater, the National Theater, in 1883 indirectly created a longing among the Prague German community for a German-speaking opera house of its own. At that time the Czech lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and there was a large German minority living in Prague. On 4 February 1883 the Deutscher Theaterverein was founded with the goal of raising funds for the new theater. The plans were developed by the well-known Viennese firm Fellner & Helmer along with Karl Hasenauer, architect of the Burgtheater in Vienna. The resulting Neues deutsches Theater (New German Theater) was designed by the Prague architect Alfons Wertmüller and built within 20 months. With its spacious auditorium and elaborate neo-rococo décor, the theater was one of the most beautiful in Europe.
Performances commenced on 5 January 1888 with Richard Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. The first director became Angelo Neumann, who brought there distinguished musicians and set high artistic standards so that the Theater reached soon international recognition. Neumann's successors were Heinrich Teweles, Leopold Kramer, Robert Volkner, Paul Eger, and Pavel Ludikar. Artists associated with the theater in its first phase included Kurt Adler (Conductor), Alexander Zemlinsky, Georg Széll, Erich Kleiber, Otto Klemperer, Alfred Piccaver, Hans Hotter, Kurt Baum, and Wilhelm Elsner. Guest artists included Nellie Melba, Enrico Caruso, Emma Calvé, Lilli Lehmann, Selma Kurz, Maria Jeritza, Richard Tauber, and Leo Slezak.
After the Velvet Revolution in November 1989, efforts to regain independence for the Smetana Theater were crowned with success and on 1 April the Prague State Opera was established there and the theater was renamed once again. Karel Drgáč became its first director. He enlarged the repertoire by further key works of the world opera literature. What earned him an unambiguous critical praise, though, was most notably his systematic cultivation of the legacy of 20th century production (Alexander Zemlinsky, Hans Krása, Gottfried von Einem). The new style of work, and the much-stressed orientation toward the traditions of the New German Theater were not always well received. Thus Drgáč had to fight a series of battles to win the war for the State Opera's existence. And meanwhile he lost his own battle, when upon expiration of his three-year term the mezzo-soprano Eva Randová emerged victorious from the competition held in 1995 for the post of director. However, not even a singer who had experience in the most prestigious Theaters of the world could avoid later criticism of her manner of managing the Theater. Her successor, Daniel Dvořák, in many ways continued in the trend of Karel Drgáč. He understood the Prague State Opera as a Theater that needed to be incorporated into the European context, and opera as a genre whose development needed to be helped through support of new works. During his four seasons (1998–2002) Prague had the opportunity to experience an unprecedented number of world premieres.
After Dvořák left his post to take over as the Director of the National Theater of Prague, the Czech Minister of Culture appointed Jaroslav Vocelka to head the Prague State Opera. Previously its managing director, Vocelka's long experience in opera administration allowed a smooth transition for the company. The Prague State Opera maintains a policy of progressive programming. New productions of Scott Joplin´s Treemonisha; Ruggero Leoncavallo's La bohème; Eugen d'Albert's Tiefland; and Leonard Bernstein's Candide have all been key works in the house's program-building policy. Vocelka has also continued a tradition of staging benefit concerts for many charitable and humanitarian concerns and has made the theater available for cultural and social events. In 2003 the opera's ballet corps merged with the noted Prague Chamber Ballet company to create the Prague State Opera Ballet.
The Estates Theater currently offers performances of dramas, ballets and operas with the focus of the opera company on the work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A more contemporary claim to fame originates from the Oscar-winning film Amadeus, directed by Czech director Miloš Forman. The scenes of Mozart in Prague were shot at the Estates Theater for authenticity.
The Estates Theater or Stavovské divadlo is a historic theater in Prague, Czech Republic. The Estates Theater was annexed to the National Theater in 1948 and currently draws on three artistic ensembles, opera, ballet, and drama, which perform at the Estates Theater, the National Theater, and the Kolowrat Theater (cs) (separate building, Kolowrat Palace).
The Estates Theater was built during the late 18th century in response to Enlightenment thought regarding general access to the theater, and theaters themselves demonstrating the cultural standards of a nation. The Estates Theater was designed by Anton Haffenecker and built in a little less than two years for the aristocrat František Antonín Count Nostitz Rieneck.
Prague's first standing public theater, the Sporck Theater, operated from 1724 to 1735. The owner of this theater, Count Franz Anton von Sporck, permitted the free use of it to subsidize the commercial venture of the Venetian impresario Antonio Denzio. The next commercial theater, the "Kotzentheater" or Divadlo v Kotcích, operated sporadically from 1739–1783 under a series of Italian impresarios. The final closure of the "Kotzentheater" coincided with the opening of Count Nostitz’s "Nostitzsches Nationaltheater." The theater opened in 1783 with a performance of the tragedy Emilia Galotti by the German playwright Gotthold Lessing. The building itself was constructed in a Neoclassical style and remains one of the few European theaters to be preserved in its almost original state to the present day. Its motto, Patriae et Musis "To the Native Land and the Muses"), which is inscribed above the portal, should also be noted as reflecting the original intentions of its creator.
The Estates Theater has undergone several changes in its history. It first acquired the name Royal Theater of the Estates in 1798 when it was purchased by the Czech Estates. With the opening of the Provisional Theater in 1862, the Theater of the Estates was dedicated to a German ensemble and renamed the Royal Provincial German Theater. During the period between 1920 and 1948 the theater regained the name Theater of the Estates and became affiliated with the National Theater. In 1948 the theater was renamed the Tyl Theater (after dramatist J.K. Tyl) and would be known as such until 1990 when, at the end of an eight-year reconstruction project, it became known again as the Estates Theater.
While the theater was initially built with the intention of producing German dramas and Italian operas, works in other languages were also staged. Czech productions were first staged in 1785 in order to reach a broader Czech audience but by 1812 they became a regular feature of Sunday and holiday matinées. The somewhat political nature of these performances later led to idea of founding a National Theater after 1848 with the defeat of the revolution and the departure of J.K. Tyl. Many of the founding Czech dramatists were involved in the Estates Theater, such as the brothers Thám (Karel and Václav), J.K. Tyl, Ján Kollár, and so on. The first Czech modern opera, František Škroup’s The Tinker, was staged here in 1826 and in 1834 the premiere of the song “Where is my Home?” (Kde domov můj) was performed by bass Karel Strakatý (words by Tyl, music by Škroup), which would later become the Czech national anthem.
The Estates Theater was not limited to native participants; many famous European artists were also active. Individuals such as Carl Maria von Weber, Anton Rubinstein, Karl Goldmark, and Gustav Mahler conducted at the Estates Theater. Other famous names include the actors A.W. Iffland, F. Raimund, J.N. Nestroy, along with opera singer Angelica Catalani and violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini. One of the Estates Theater’s many claims to glory is its strong link with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who conducted the world premiere of his opera Don Giovanni here in October 1787. Also, in 1791, Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito was staged in public here for the first time in celebration of the coronation of Emperor Leopold II. It is the only theater left standing where Mozart performed.
The history of Laterna magika, the world's very first multimedia theater, spans more than half a century. At the present time, it is one of the companies of the National Theater in and operates in the New Stage premises. Globally renowned owing to its unique approach to theater poetics, Laterna magika has always striven to seek paths to theater synthesis, capable of telling stories by means of multiple means, most notably multimedia projection combined with live stage performance. The fundamental principle (interaction between film projection and live dramatic action) has been gradually supplemented with new technologies, for instance, digital projection or new media, including real-time programmable software. Since the very beginning, Laterna magika productions have blended various genres, ranging from dramatic acting through affording a dominant role to dance and ballet to mime and Black Theater. Another characteristic trait is that all Laterna magika productions have always been original works directly created for the company, never received as ready-made pieces, which, with merely a few exceptions, have never subsequently appeared in the repertoire of another company!
Laterna magika initially came into being as a representative cultural programme devised with the aim to promote the at Expo 58, which took place from 17 April to 19 November 1958 in Brusseles. The project was entrusted to the stage director Alfréd Radok and the set designer Josef Svoboda, who duly brought to fruition the idea of combining film projection and live stage performance. The other creators who participated in the project included Jaroslav Stránský (production manager and head of the staging plan), Miloš Forman (set designer), the stage directors Vladimír Svitáček and Ján Roháč, the choreographer Jiří Němeček, the costume designer Erna Veselá, the actresses Zdeňka Procházková, Sylva Daníčková and Valentina Thielová, the dancers Jarmila Manšingrová, Naďa Blažíčková, Yvetta Pešková, Eva Poslušná, Miroslav Kůra, Vlastimil Jílek, and other members of the National Theater. The programme took the form of a mixed bill made up of individual numbers connected by a presenter's performances, which were pre-recorded in several languages and screened in a manner that came across as a seeming interaction of the actress on stage with her images and between each of these. The same principle was applied in the design of the other numbers, which made use of music, dance and live acting.
In 2010, Laterna magika was reintegrated in the National Theater. From 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011, it operated as the National Theater’s fourth company, headed by its artistic director, Zdeněk Prokeš, and on 1 January it became a section of the New Stage of the National Theater. The spring of 2011 saw the premiere of the production Legends of Magic Prague, directed by Jiří Srnec and choreographed by Petr Zuska, in which Laterna magika returned to its artistic legacy: the traditional combination of theater with film and dance. In the 2011/12 season, the production Wonderful Circus celebrated its 35th birthday and Cocktail 008 was transformed into the new retro show Cocktail 012 – The Best Of. The mixed bill was modified and the oldest repertoire pieces served as the basis for the reconstruction of the legendary The Breakneck Ride, a sequence from the 1966 piece “Variations”.
National Theater: New Stage (1983)
A theater building constructed in 1983, a stage with a specific dramaturgy. You can see there Laterna magika, Opera, Ballet, and Drama performances and a number of other original projects.
Broadway Theater (in Czech: Divadlo Broadway) is a theater situated in Celetná street and Na Příkopě, Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic. It opened in 2002. It focuses on production of musicals.
Broadway Theater is a part of the Palace Sevastopol, which was originally built in functionalist style in 1938. The Celetná and Na Příkopě streets are connected by Broadway Passage. The palace is listed in the register of protected buildings.
The theater's first production was the musical Cleopatra, which made its début on 22 February 2002 and featured Bára Basiková, Ilona Csáková, Monika Absolonová and Radka Fišarová alternating in the title role.
The Prague Provisional Theater (Czech: Prozatímní divadlo, Czech pronunciation: [ˈprozaciːmɲiː ˈɟivadlo]) was erected in 1862 as a temporary home for Czech drama and opera until a permanent National Theater could be built. It opened on 18 November 1862 and functioned for 20 years, during which time over 5,000 performances were presented. Between 1866 and 1876 the theater staged the premieres of four of Bedřich Smetana's operas, including The Bartered Bride. The Provisional Theater building was eventually incorporated into the structure of the National Theater, which opened its doors on 11 June 1881.
Before the early 1860s almost all cultural institutions in Prague, including theater and opera, were in Austrian hands. Bohemia was a province of the Habsburg Empire, and under that regime's absolutist rule most aspects of Czech culture and national life had been discouraged or suppressed. Absolutism was formally abolished by a decree of the Emperor Franz Josef on 20 October 1860, which led to a Czech cultural revival. The Bohemian Diet (parliament) had acquired a site in Prague on the banks of the Vltava, and in 1861 announced a public subscription, which raised a sum of 106,000 gulden. This covered the costs of building a small 800-seat theater, which would act as a home for production of Czech drama and opera while longer-term plans for a permanent National Theater could be implemented. The Provisional Theater opened on 18 November 1862, with a performance of Vítězslav Hálek's tragic drama King Vukašín. Since there was at the time no Czech opera deemed suitable, the first opera performed at the theater, on 20 November 1862, was Cherubini's Les deux journées. For the first year or so of its life, the Provisional Theater alternated opera with straight plays on a daily basis, but from the start of 1864 opera performances were given daily.
The first principal conductor (or musical director) of the Provisional Theater, appointed in the autumn of 1862, was Jan Nepomuk Maýr – to the disappointment of Smetana, who had hoped for the position himself. Maýr held the position until September 1866; his tenure was marked by a professional rivalry with Smetana, who criticised the theater's conservatism and failure to fulfil its mission to promote Czech opera. Maýr retaliated by refusing to conduct Smetana's The Brandenburgers of Bohemia. A change in the theater's management in 1866 led to Maýr's removal and replacement by Smetana, who held the post for eight years. Maýr's bias in favor of Italian opera was replaced by Smetana's more balanced repertoire, which mixed Italian, German and French pieces with such Slavonic and Czech works as he could find. Apart from his own compositions (The Bartered Bride, The Brandenburgers in Bohemia and Dalibor, Smetana introduced works by the Czech composers Lepold Eugen Měchura and Josef Rozkošný, but was nevertheless attacked by some parts of the music establishment for giving insufficient encouragement to native talent. Efforts to remove him from his post, and to reinstate Maýr, were unsuccessful.
Smetana was responsible for the establishment of an independent school attached to the theater. He became the school's director and professor of theory. However, in 1874 Smetana became afflicted with deafness, which forced him to yield his duties as principal conductor to his assistant Adolf Čech, and to resign his post later that year. Maýr was reappointed to the conductorship; he had no interest in the school, which subsequently closed. The Provisional Theater continued as the main venue for Czech opera, several of Antonín Dvořák's works being premiered there. In 1881 the theater was incorporated into the Czech National Theater building, which opened on 11 June. Shortly thereafter the new building was badly damaged by fire and remained closed for two years. During this period the Provisional Theater continued to operate, using other theater premises. During its lifetime the Provisional theater mounted more than 5,000 performances.
Švanda Theater in Smíchov is a theater in Štefánikova street in Smíchov a suburb of Prague. It continues the long tradition of the previous theater based in this building and its surroundings.
A theater was established on the site in 1871 by Pavel Švanda called Arena Eggenberg but the arena was demolished in 1891, an built a new arena the current Smíchov, theater.
In 1900 the theater was radically rebuilt when the position of the stage and auditorium was changed, and the layout has been preserved. In 1908, then it was renamed the Intimate Theater. In 1928, during the beginning of the economic crisis was dissolved file and in the building of the theater was owned by several tenants. In the years 1928-1930 he became the theater Vlasta Burian, in 1931-1932, then comic theater (Ferenc futurist and Jara Kohout). Since 1932 the theater has once again as Švandovo theater in 1935-1938 then letting Jara Kohout and from 1939-1944, then Jaroslav planks.
After the war, authorities banned its traditional theatrical business and there arose soviet version of the Realistic theater, including a 1953 renaming the realistic theater Zdenek Nejedly. In 1991 with the fall of communism it was renamed the Theater Labyrinth. In 1998 the theater was long closed but re-opened in 2002 as Švanda Theater in Smíchov.
Musical Theater Karlín (Czech: Hudební divadlo Karlín) is a theater in Prague devoted largely to the performance of operetta and musical theater. Built in 1881, it is now the second largest theater in Prague, after the Prague State Opera.
Palmovka Theater, also known as the Theater S. K. Neumann, Divadlo pod Palmovkou and the Urban and Regional Theater, is a classic drama theater located in the Prague district of Libeň at the bottom Zenklova street in Prague near the intersection and subway station Palmovka. In addition to the main stage it has the attic theater a small studio theater for more intimate performances.
There has been a theater on the site since 1865 but the current theater company only dates to August 1949, when under the direction of the minister for Culture the current troup took form. Until 1992 the theater bore the name of the Libeň Theater, "Theater S. K. Neumann", but with the fall of communism the theater took its current name.
Reduta Jazz Club is a music club and theater scene in Prague, Czech Republic. It is situated on Národní street in the centre of the city, close to the National Theater. The club is particularly famous for having hosted an impromptu saxophone performance by American president Bill Clinton in 1994. Reduta is the oldest jazz club in Prague.
The club was established in 1957 by the bassist Jan Arnet and took its name from a term for centres of fun and music, Reduta. Its early existence was associated with the activities of the Accord Club, an institute which played an important role in formation of "small stage theaters", influencing the development of theater and music in the country in this era. At that time (early 1960s), Reduta supported small theater ensembles such as Jára Cimrman Theater and Lyra Pragensis. The club also attempted to promote jazz from the very beginning in the 1950s, at the time when this genre was condemned by the ruling Communist regime. The premiere concert of the renowned jazz ensemble Studio 5 took place in Reduta on 2 June 1958; the line up included important exponents of the Czech jazz, such as Karel Velebný and Luděk Hulan.
Artists performing at Reduta include jazz performers from around the world. Names like Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck and Chick Corea performed at the club. Czech artists such as Vlasta Průchová, Karel Krautgartner, Miroslav Vitouš, Jiří Jelínek and Jiří Stivín regularly played in the club as well. The club also actively participated in organizing of the Prague International Jazz Festival, since 1964.
At the end of the 1980s, Reduta Jazz Club became one of the centres of the Velvet Revolution. It managed to retain its appeal after the end of the Communist regime. American president Bill Clinton played the saxophone—a gift from the Czech president Václav Havel—in a traditional jam session at Reduta in 1994, during his presidential term.
Nowadays Reduta focuses on fusing jazz with modern progressive styles. Their programs throughout the year include swing, Dixieland, mainstream and modern jazz, also big band compositions, blues, funky, bossa nova and jazz pop. Reduta includes a black light theater, mime theater and new performances of young theater groups from Prague.
DISK Theater (abbreviation: Theater State Conservatory) is a Prague theater, which is located in Charles Street 26 in Prague 1 building DAMU. It constitutes part of the Theater Faculty of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Performers are students of the Department of Dramatic Theater (KCD) and students of the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theater.
The theater was founded in 1945 as part of the State Conservatory. When, in 1946, founded the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, he became a part of DISK. Until 1993 he worked in the theater building Unitaria (today Ta Fantastika Theater), where students had to leave the airspace. Until 1999, the theater used the hospitality of the Celetná Theater, but the requirements for creating theater suit. Therefore, it began in the atrium of the Academy of Performing Arts formed a new theater designed by architect Karel Hubacek and George Hakulína. Inauguration took place in February 1999. The new disc is a studio space with a capacity of about 130 seats, where you can create the most diverse theater and other cultural production.
Vinohrady Theater (Czech: Divadlo na Vinohradech) is a theater in Vinohrady, Prague.
Construction began on February 27, 1905. It served as the Theater of the Czechoslovak Army from autumn 1950 to January 1966. It contains a curtain painted by Vladimír Županský depicting a naked muse. Playwrights associated with the theater include Viktor Dyk who was active around 1915.
During the Velvet Revolution, where the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was overthrown, there was a rally outside the theater on the night of November 19–20; actress Vlasta Chramostová was quoted as asking the crowd: "If not now, when? If not us, then who?"
Millennium Theater (RockOpera Praha)
Millennium Theater (Czech: RockOpera Praha) is a theater in Prague, Czech Republic. It has one of the largest auditoriums in the capital, with over 900 seats, and has staged many popular musicals as well as a whole array of cultural events.
The National Marionette Theater (Czech: Národní divadlo marionet, NDM) is a theater company devoted to puppetry performances, located in the Old Town neighborhood of Prague, Czech Republic. The company has been active since June 1991, but uses a historical puppetry space called Říše loutek (Kingdom of the Puppets) that dates to at least 1929, when it hosted the founding of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette.
The company generally stages adaptations of classic opera and theater, with the most successful serial production thus far being Don Giovanni, which uses period costume and has a run of over 4000. There are shows nearly every evening. Due to the popularity of the production and the steady demand from the tourist market, additional companies have recently been developed in the area, in some cases trading on their similarity to the original NDM.
The Theater Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU) is one of the three faculties of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (alongside the Film and TV school and the Music Faculty). It was founded immediately after the Second World War. It was established in 1945 as part of the newly created arts university. Teachers at the faculty have included prominent personalities of modern Czech theater including Otomar Krejča, set designer František Tröster (cs), Ivan Vyskočil, director Jiří Frejka (cs), and Miroslav Haller (cs). DAMU is a member of the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) and the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres (ENCATC).
The Theater on the Balustrade (Divadlo Na zábradlí) is situated in Prague, Czech Republic. The theater was founded in 1958. Its founders - Helena Philipová, Ivan Vyskočil, Jiří Suchý and Vladimír Vodička named their professional theater after a street leading from the square to the river. Its first production, a musical collage titled If a Thousand Clarinets (Czech: Kdyby tisíc klarinetů), was premiered on 9 December 1958. Three months later Ladislav Fialka and his mime group joined the company with their production Pantomime on the Balustrade, and brought back fame to the almost forgotten theater genre. Drama and mime companies coexisted at the theater until Fialka's death in 1991.
In the early 1960s, with the arrival of director Jan Grossman, set designer Libor Fára and a stage hand and later dramaturg and playwright Václav Havel, the Theater on the Balustrade became the centre of the Czech form of the absurd theater (V. Havel: The Garden Party, Memorandum, Alfred Jarry: King Ubu, Franz Kafka: Process). Despite the fact that the theater established itself abroad (or maybe because of it) as well as in Czechoslovakia, Jan Grossman and Václav Havel were forced to leave the theater in 1968. In the 1970s and 1980s the theater became a refuge for film directors of the 1960s "new wave", whose film work was thwarted by the normalisation process. Apart from productions directed by J. Jireš, J. Krejčík, J. Menzel and J. Herz, it was mainly Evald Schorm who regularly co-operated with the theater since 1976 (e.g. The King Stag, Hamlet, The Karamazov Brothers, Marathon) and managed to group around himself a number of brilliant actors (J. Bartoška, K. Heřmánek, J. Preissová, P. Zedníček, L. Mrkvička).
In 1989 Jan Grossman returned to the theater as a director and later its managing director, and after his untimely death in 1993 new management of the theater was named - managing director Doubravka Svobodová and artistic director Petr Lébl. Petr Lébl was one of the most talented young directors with distinctive imagination who provoked with his interpretations of classics (J. Genet: The Maids, L. Stroupežnický: Our Our Swaggerers, N. V. Gogol: The Government Inspector, A. P. Chekhov: The Seagull, Ivanov, Uncle Vanya). After Lébl's death in 1999 the theater continued its seeking, novel course of the present Theater on the Balustrade with its new artistic direction of Ivana Slámová, Jiří Ornest and Jan Antonín Pitínský. From the start of the season 2002/2003 a young director and playwright Jiří Pokorný became, together with Ivana Slámová, the new artistic director of the theater.
With arrival of new artistic director David Czesany in 2010 the Divadlo Na zábradlí (Theater on the Balustrade) started off with a program of theme-based seasons. The first was named “Who will be let through heaven’s gates?”, the current one (2011/2012) will be focused on public space and the city as a place for living and will be called “Whose city?”. Programming decisions as well as other projects of the theater will be based on this topic: the upcoming season will bring exhibitions and meetings with witnesses to the changes that parts of the city have gone through. The topic of the city will also be tackled by students of art schools as a part of the Eliade Library project that introduces new creative projects, final works of art school graduates and works for children.
With the new director the ensemble has grown as well, with the introduction of new members Ivan Lupták, Natálie Řehořová and Ondřej Veselý.
Spejbl and Hurvínek Theater
Spejbl and Hurvínek Theater (S+H) is a puppet theater located in Prague, Czech Republic. Founded in 1930 by puppeteer Josef Skupa, Spejbl and Hurvínek was the first professional puppet theater established in Czechoslovakia and the present-day Czech Republic.
Helena Štáchová, a puppeteer who played the well known roles of Manicka and Mrs Katerina in the company, served as the head of Spejbl and Hurvínek from 1996 until her death in 2017. In 2008, a court awarded Štáchová the right to use the popular Spejbl and Hurvínek puppet characters after an 8-year legal dispute, which allowed the S+H Theater to continue its programs.
Semafor is a theater in Prague, Czech Republic, established by Jiří Suchý and Ferdinand Havlík in 1959. It is one of the so-called "Theaters of small stages". Suchý has performed there for many years and is the current owner. The theater was a starting point for many famous Czech musicians including Karel Gott and Hana Hegerová.
The name "Semafor" is an abbreviation for Sedm Malých Forem (Seven Small Forms), referring to forms of theater.
A studio Rubín is a historic building and theater located at Malostranske Namesti. 262/9, 118 00 Praha Mala Strana in Prague in the Czech Republic. It is located in a late medieval building known as the "House of the Three Crowns", which was built around 1465 and since 1484 served as a hospital. It was later rebuilt in 1603 and from 1684 has served as a residential house. Today's appearance of the facade is from 1883.
Divadlo na Fidlovačce (Fidlovačka Theater) is a private theater based in Prague.
The theater is in a building located in Nusle, that has been built as Thyl Theater 1921. Several ensembles performed in the theater, that had itself several names. In 1978 the building was closed and started to deteriorate. In January 1995 foundation Nadace Fidlovačka was established. The foundation, headed by Tomáš Töpfer and Eliška Balzerová, with the support of municipal government of the Prague 4 district managed to re-establish the theater.
The theater opened with musical Fiddler on the Roof in October 1998. The performance, with Tomáš Töpfer as Tovye, was very successful, when the run of the musical ended in 2014. Other musicals included Man of La Mancha with Viktor Preiss as Don Quixote, Painted on Glass, translated by Jaromír Nohavica, Cabaret with Tereza Bebarová as Sally Bowles and Czech premiere of Thoroughly Modern Millie with Michaela Badinková / Zuzana Vejvodová as Millie Dillmount. Large part of the repertoire, as in other Czech private theaters with limited amount of state subsidies, consist of comedies for broad audience. Among others, comedies by Shakespeare, Goldoni, Pirandello, Orton, Feydau, Patrick, Maugham or Kishon were staged. Most performances were directed by either Tomáš Töpfer or Juraj Deák, who currently helds the position of art director. In 2006 the theater opened as second scene in a former cinema nearby, so-called Komorní Fidlovačka, where chamber dramas for smaller audiences are held.
Divadlo v Dlouhé is a repertoire theater with a permanent group of actors established in 1996 as a set financed by the Municipality of Prague. The group of actors comprises graduates of the Theater Academy of Musical Arts, part of the actors have studied in the Department of Alternative and Marionette Theater of this Academy. The young group is highly talented in terms of dance and music. The repertoire spans from great dramatic stories to non-traditional cabarets. The Theater holds the Child in Dlouhá / Dítě v Dlouhé festival at which the most interesting plays for children's theater are featured. Divadlo v Dlouhé was nominated several times for Alfréd Radok Award in the category Theater of the Year. Grabbe's Don Juan and Faust and Sestra Úzkost won the category Performance of the Year.
The theater is headed by Daniela Šálková. The key directors are Hana Burešová and Jan Borna. The most prominent actors are Miroslav Táborský, Jan Vondráček, Vlastimil Zavřel, Jaroslava Pokorná and Klára Sedláčková. Notable guest actors include Karel Roden, Martin Huba and Petr Skoumal.
Divadlo v Kotcích
The Divadlo v Kotcích, German Theater an der Kotzen, in English more usually Kotzen Theater, was a Prague theater and opera venue on v Kotcích street, which had its heyday 1739-1783 as the second public opera theater in Prague. Spoken plays and ballets were also presented there. For many seasons it was run by the Italian impresario Santo Lapis, then Giovanni Battista Locatelli, who staged Gluck's Prague Ezio, 1750, and other works. Later impresarios who worked there include Gaetano Molinari and Giuseppe Bustelli. The more correct "Theater an der Kotzen" was often colloquially referred to as the "Kotzentheater," Kotzen being a Slavonic-German term for a market. It closed in 1783 for safety reasons.
It was preceded by the opera theater of Count Franz Anton von Sporck, which operated between 1724 and 1735, and succeeded by Count Nostitz's "National Theater," now the Estates Theater (or "Stavovské divadlo"), which opened on 21 April 1783. The current National Theater, "Národní divadlo" did not open until 1881.
Osvobozené divadlo represented an important part of the Czechoslovakia First Republic cultural scene. It was the place where many theater experiments occurred. Archive recordings of plays and particularly of Ježek's music and songs are popular and reissued until now.
Osvobozené divadlo (1926–1938) (Liberated Theater or Prague Free Theater) was a Prague avant-garde theater scene founded as the theater section of an association of Czech avant-garde artists Devětsil (Butterbur) in 1926. The theater's beginnings were strongly influenced by Dadaism and Futurism, later by Poetism (a specific Czech art movement). The theater was also very leftist oriented, however, it was critical also towards communists. One of the founders, Jiří Frejka, came up with the name in 1926. In the theater both authorial plays and works by well-established modern authors; such as G. Apollinaire, A. Jarry, J. Cocteau, A. Breton, F. T. Marinetti, and V. Nezval were performed. The modern conception of the scene also laid more emphasis on lighting and the theatrical conception adjured more cooperation and contacts between actors and audience.
The first performance took place on February 8, 1926, with the play Georges Dandin by Molière (it was renamed Cirkus Dandin), the performance was not very successful. In 1927 the theater moved to Umělecká beseda and in that time Jiří Voskovec and Jan Werich first appeared on the stage with their own play Vest Pocket Revue, a montage of Dadaist gags, intellectual humour and jazz songs. The performance achieved great acclaim and Werich, together with Voskovec, became part of the ensemble. In the same year the young pianist and composer Jaroslav Ježek joined them, and together with Werich and Voskovec represented the core of the theater group during its whole existence. They used masks inspired by the Fratellini clowns; Voskovec´s mask was inspired by François Fratellini and Werich´s by Albert Fratellini. Jiří Frejka together with another important exponent and founder, E. F. Burian, left the theater due to disputes with the director Jindřich Honzl, an avant-garde theater theorist who directed all the plays of the Osvobozené divadlo. The foursome (Voskovec, Werich, Ježek, and Honzl), but mainly Voskovec and Werich, gradually became the most important part of the group and their cooperation and contribution is still considered as very distinctive and legendary.
The Drama Club (Czech: Činoherní klub) is a theater located in Prague. The Drama Club was founded by Ladislav Smoček and Jaroslav Vostrý. The opening performance of Piknik took place on 3 March 1965. The actors in the 1970s and 1980s included Petr Čepek, Pavel Landovský, Josef Somr, Jiří Kodet, Jirina Trebicka, Libuše Šafránková and Josef Abrhám. On 19 November 1989, two days after the Velvet revolution, the Civic Forum was founded there. The Drama Club was awarded Alfréd Radok Award in category Theater of the Year in 2002, and 2008. The current actors include Jaromír Dulava, Ivana Chýlková, Ondřej Vetchý and Petr Nárožný.
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