Tag: National Theatre Prague

Relishing Coffins with Sweet Cream

Smetana’s Fifth Opera The Two Widows is a Sweet, Comic Treat “I wrote The Two Widows for our Czech theatre to such a text and in such a music style as to combine the salon elegance with the tenderness and nobleness of the music. It was an attempt to write an opera in the cultured salon spirit.” Smetana’s words about his fifth opera are often quoted nowadays on the occasion…

Tuesday, March 6, 2012: She Rises to Conquer

She Rises to Conquer Gloriana, the 3+ hour opera about Queen Elizabeth I, premiered this past weekend at The National Theatre. This is not a light opera. Chances are you won’t leave the theatre whistling the themes from the major arias. But you might find yourself mulling over the story, characters, sets, and most of all the incredibly bold, dramatic singing, still days later. Benjamin Britten wrote the work, with…

Monday, February 27, 2012: Audience with the Queen

An Audience with the Queen Queen Elizabeth I is coming to Prague, and the audience with the queen will be held at The National Theatre Mar 3 and 4. That’s when soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin will star in the Czech premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana. The three-act opera alternates between glimpses of Renaissance, regal glory and intimate scenes with Queen Elizabeth I and her favorite and confidante, Robert Devereaux, Earl of…

Monday, February 6, 2012: Enchanting Opera

Enchanting Opera At first they wouldn’t let any of us into the National Theater through the front door. The front door is for sissies apparently, which we certainly were not. So we stood outside in the cold on the piazza in groups led by pretty young women wearing funny hats and holding sign posts. Then the Frogmen came. They yelled at us through loudspeakers in languages that can only be…

Thurs, June 23, 2011: Opera-What’s Up?

Summer Solstice Series! Opus Osm continues our week-long Solstice Series of “backgrounder” articles. If you’ve ever wondered the who, why, what, or why not about opera, here are the answers to your questions. Zuzana Sklenková is on hand to anticipate everything you’ve always wanted to know about this glorious but confusing art form. Part 4 Some Opera Highlights for the New 2011-12 Season A “premiere” is, strictly speaking, the first-ever…

Tuesday, March 1, 2011: Best Seat in the House

The National Theatre in Prague is one of the best known theatres in the Czech Republic. Its origins have more to do with social structures of the day than modern acoustic and visual demands. It has a large pit to accommodate an orchestra and an impressive stage for the extensive use of scenery. Its auditorium is traditionally U-shaped with balconies and galleries extending above the ground floor seats. Finding the…