There are four stages under the artistic management of the National Theatre, the State Opera being one of them. It is located on Wilson Street, next to the National Museum. The State Opera is one of the most important musical stages on a European scale. It was opened on 5 January, 1888 and at present there are two ensembles that perform at the State Opera – the Opera ensemble and the Ballet ensemble of the National Theatre. The magnificent building was originally built for German audience, so its architectural design was created by the Viennese studio of Fellner and Helmer.
Useful information for visitors
Public transport connections
Opening hours and admission
For current programme of the whole National Theatre complex visit official website.
Interesting facts about State Opera
The State Opera, first opened in 1888, was built as a theatre for Prague Germans, as they lacked a suitable building for German performances. The historically first performance held at the State Opera was Wagner’s opera, the Mastersingers of Nuremberg. The State Opera, with its spacious auditorium and magnificent neo-Rococo decorations, is justly admired as one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe.
The design for the building was drawn up by the above mentioned Austrian studio and architect Karl Hasenauer, while Prague architect Alfons Wertmüller also took part in the construction. Both German opera and dramatic actors as well as Czech-and-German-speaking actors performed at the Theatre.
The last performance took place in 1938. At that time, the Theatre Association terminated all contracts and sold the Theatre house to the Czechoslovakian State. During WWII, no performances took place, except for the occasional performances by a few German ensembles. The management of the Theatre was entrusted to the Theatre of the Fifth of May after liberation and to the National Theatre after 1948 – the building operated under the name “Smetana Theatre” from November 1949.
The Theatre became independent in 1992, carrying the name “Prague State Opera”. In 2012, it became part of the National Theatre again.