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Opera Europa Experts: alternative space is ideal during the reconstruction of the State Opera

26. 3. 2015

Prague has a chance to keep a wide selection of opera performances during reconstruction of the State Opera, which begins in July 2016. Opera Europa experts agreed on this with the management of the National Theatre as a conclusion of the joint two-day meeting. Maintaining an adequate number of opera performances and thus satisfying the growing demand for this genre is one of the objectives of the National Theatre during the upcoming renovation.

"The renovated State Opera solves many problems associated with busy operations in the form everyday opera and ballet performances and morning rehearsals. It is also necessary to remove the very poor conditions of stage technology, which does not create adequate conditions for theatre production in the 21st century. We are dealing with the management of the City Council, City Hall and the management of Karlin Musical Theatre about a temporary lease for opera and ballet productions, so that our viewers do not lose the opera and ballet genre. The prepared solution, which we presented to the experts of Opera Europa, will allow some of the State Opera productions to move to Karlin Musical Theatre. We will offer other State Opera productions on the stage of the National Theatre, "says doc. MgA. Jan Burian.

"Prague is an important point on the map of European opera and it should definitely stay there. We welcome the efforts of the management of the National Theatre to maintain a varied offer of opera performances in the capital city and also the effort to create the conditions for continuous work of artistic ensembles. Several opera houses in Europe have already faced or are even currently facing a similar situation and adequate substitute spaces with sufficient capacity, good location, facilities and acoustics are the best solution for the arts and the audience itself. Karlin Musical Theatre has the best prerequisites to fulfil these criteria, "says the director of Opera Europa Nicholas Payne.

An equally important topic of the joint meeting was the draft of the law on Public institutions in culture. Allowing election of chiefs in theatres, galleries or the philharmonic and termination of the evaluation of artistic performances based on clerical tables, the National Theatre would even come close to prevailing European practice and thus become more competitive in the global art space.

The members of the expert team, which began intensive cooperation with the National Theatre last year, are in addition to the director of Opera Europa Nicholas Payne, the Director of Marketing, Communications and Sales of the Dutch National Opera and Ballet in Amsterdam Sandra Eikelenboom, Operational and Commercial Director of Volksoper Wien Christoph Ladstätter and Director of Riksteatret and former Director of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo Tom Remlov.