Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Visit the Estates Theatre

If you’re looking for a good place to take in some culture, you’ll want to check out one of Prague’s most well-known theaters, the Estates Theatre. The Theatre began its life in the late 18th century. At the time, theaters were cropping up all over Europe and people felt the arts should be accessible to everyone.

The Theatre was originally known as Count Nostitz’s Theatre and took less than two years to construct. It’s build in the Neoclassical style, which strives for symmetry, simplicity, and columns. (Like ancient Greek temples, but slightly more modern.)

Like the Czech Republic itself, the Theatre has undergone several name changes and owners, but has always retained its sense of self. It’s actually one of the few theaters in Europe that still looks the way it did when it was built.

It was home to a number of plays and operas and Czech works, including the first Czech modern opera (František Škroup’s The Tinker), and the premiere of the song “Where is my home?” (Kde domov můj), which later became the Czech national anthem.

Mozart certainly liked the Theatre – he conducted the world premiere of his opera Don Giovanni here and staged his La Clemenza di Tito in public here for the first time in celebration of the coronation of Emperor Leopold II. Fun fact: this is actually the only theatre left standing where Mozart performed.

True to its association with Mozart, the Estates Theatre was used in the Oscar-winning film Amadeus. The Czech director, Milos Forman, shot the scenes of Mozart in Prague at the Estates Theatre for authenticity.

So if you're planning a trip to Prague, make sure you set aside some time for this amazing building.

-Heather Tinley, Opera Colorado Marketing Coordinator

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