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Sometimes rivalry or jealousy leads to terrible consequences. But on other occasions competition turns into a creative stimulus that result in beautiful works that surpass those of the opponent. Seeing the result, this would be the case of the State Opera.
Built in 1888 by the Austrians Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helner, this place, called the German Theatre, was the response of the German bourgeoisie to the creation of the National Theatre, the result of Czech initiative. The German bourgeoisie already had the Theatre of the States, but with time it had become too small.
Built over the Theatre of the New Town, between Wilson Station and the National Museum, the State Opera is the largest theatre hall in Prague. It is also an exact copy, though at a smaller scale, of the Vienna Opera House.
Its first director was Angelo Neumann and had famed figures as orchestra directors such as Karel Muck, Gustav Mahler or Richard Strauss. Between 1911 and 1927, this post was held by Alexander con Zemlisky, who gave it a new direction due to promoting operas by Strauss and symphonies by Mahler. Some of the very best German and Czech voices sang to his orders.
The State Opera was partially destroyed during the Second World War. At the war’s end, it was reopened with the name of the Smetana Theatre as the second main stage after the National Theatre.
Despite the restoration undertaken between 1968 and 1973, the interior conserves the stucco as well as the original paintings and curtain. On the façade, the neo-classical frieze is decorated with sculptures of Dionysius and Thalia, muse of comedy.
It is currently once again an independent theatre and possesses the name we know today, the State Opera. While the National Theatre concerns itself with Czech repertoire, the State Opera presents international works. It has the peculiarity of being the only Prague theatre hall dedicated exclusively to Bel-Canto. If you are a fan of this music, then this is the place to be.
Basilica and convent of Saint George (Bazilika a Kláster Sv. Jirí) (33)
Church of St. Nicholas (Sv. Mikulas) (11)
Monastery of Strahov (Strahovsky Klaster) (26)
Town Old Building of the Old Town (Staromestská Radnice) (9)
Cathedral of Saint Vitus (Katedrála Sv. Víta) (31)
Golz-Kinsky Palace (Palác Kinskych) (4)
National Gallery, Sternberg Palace (Národní Galerie - Sternbersky Palác) (29)
Saint Nicholas of Malá Strana (Sv. Mikulás) (40)
Charles Bridge (Karlûv Most) (2)
Our Lady of the Snows (Panna Marie Snezná) (52)
The Astronomical Watch (10)
Celetná Street (7)
Church of Saint Thomas (Sv. Tomás) (44)
Jan Hus, Bethlehem Chapel (Betlemska Kaple) (6)
Lobkowicz-Schwarzenberg Palace (Lobkovicky Palác) (36)
National Theatre (Národní Divadlo) (48)
Our Lady of Loreto (Loreta) (28)
Royal Way. Nerudova. (37)
State Opera (Státní Opera) (57)
Cernín Palace (Cernínsky Palác) (27)
Convent of Saint Agnes of Bohemia (Kláster Sv. Anezky) (16)
Jewish Quarter of Prague. The Golem. (21)
Masaryk Quay (Masarykovo Nábrezí) (51)
Old Jewish Cemetery (Stary Zidovsky Hrbitov) (24)
Petrin Hill (Petrínské Sady) (42)
Saint John Nepomucene (Sv. Jan Nepomucky na Skalce) (46)
Vtrba Garden (Vrtbovská Zahrada) (38)
Charles IV Square (Karlovo Námesti) (49)
Cubist Houses (Kubistické Domy) (59)
Kampa Island (41)
Municipal House (Obecní Dum) (12)
Old Town Square (8)
Royal Garden (Kralovská Zahrada) (35)
Slav Island and the Mánes Gallery (Slovansky Ostrov) (50)
Wallenstein Palace (Valdstejnsky Palác) (43)
Church of Saint James (Sv. Jakub) (19)
Golden Lane (Zlatá Ulicka) (32)
Letná Park (Letenské Sady) (17)
National Avenue (Narodni) (54)
Old-New Synagogue (Staronová Synagóga) (25)
Royal Palace (Stary Kralovsky Palác) (34)
Slavic Monastery of Emmaus (Kláster Na Slovanech -Emauzy-) (45)
Wenceslas Square (Václavské Námeí) (47)
Castle Gallery (Obrázarna Prazskeho Hradu) (30)
Museum of Dvorák (Muzeum Antonína Dvoráka) (53)
Prague City Museum (Muzeum Hlavního Mesta Prahy) (18)
Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art (Sbirka Moderního a Soucasneho Umení) (20)
National Jewish Museum, Maisel and Pinkas Synagogues (23)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart Museum. (60)