The National Theatre Opera

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    W. A. Mozart: Don Giovanni

    14-25 August

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1. 8. 2019

New Opera Management

Today, the Norwegian manager Per Boye Hansen will officially assume the post of Artistic Director of the National Theatre Opera and State Opera.

In August, Karl-Heinz Steffens, the former Music Director of the Norwegian National Opera, will take up the post of Music Director of the State Opera. Conductor Jaroslav Kyzlink continues as Music Director of the National Theatre Opera. Mrs. Bohdana Malik took the post of Administrative Director of Opera in June. We are looking forward to the cooperation and wishing the new Opera management good luck!

28. 7. 2019


For the very first time in history, Operalia, the international Opera competition founded by Plácido Domingo, has been presented in the Czech Republic.

The 27th edition of the internationally renowned competition has been hosted by the National Theatre and the Domingo-Mozart-Prague organization and took place at the historical building of the National Theatre in Prague which is one of the symbols of the country’s national identity and counts more than 130 years of independent artistic performances. The Final Concert featured 12 of the most promising voices in the opera world today, with singers from Argentina, Canada, Guatemala, Italy, Germany, South Korea, Sweden, South Africa and the United States. Their performances were accompanied by the National Theatre orchestra conducted by Plácido Domingo. The Final’s concert was followed by an award ceremony, where Plácido Domingo presented prizes in 7 categories: 

First Prize
Adriana Gonzalez, soprano, Guatemala
Xabier Anduaga, tenor, Spain 


Second Prize
Maria Kataeva, mezzo-soprano, Russia
Gihoon Kim, baritone, South Korea


Third Prize
Christina Nilsson, soprano, Sweden
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor, USA/Germany


Birgit Nilsson Prize
Felicia Moore, soprano, USA
Christina Nilsson, soprano, Sweden 


The Pepita Embil Prize of Zarzuela
Adriana Gonzalez, soprano, Guatemala


The Don Plácido Domingo Ferrer Prize of Zarzuela
Xabier Anduaga, tenor, Spain 


Rolex Prize of the Audience
Maria Kataeva, mezzo-soprano, Russia
Gihoon Kim, baritone, South Korea


CulturArte Prize
Anna Shapovalova, soprano, Russia


26. 7. 2019

Winners of Operalia 2019

Adriana Gonzalez and Xabier Anduaga are the First Prize Winners of Operalia’s 27th edition. Congratulations!!! We will be back soon with more information.

3. 7. 2019

Operalia 2019

The 2019 edition of Placido Domingo's Operalia, The World Opera Competition, will take place at the National Theatre in Prague, from Sunday July 21st through Friday July 26th.
Tickets here:

24. 6. 2019

The Intermezzo pop-up exhibition

The Intermezzo pop-up exhibition displays works by Kintera, Pěchouček and other contemporary visual artists, and their connection with the world of opera.

Over four days, the Intermezzo pop-up exhibition will show works by Kryštof Kintera, Michal Pěchouček and other contemporary visual artists in a non-traditional relation with the world of opera. It is be open from 24 to 27 June in the former restaurant next to the New Stage on Václav Havel Square in Prague. The exhibition displays 47 paintings, sculptures and objects by Jan Kaláb, Jiří David, Michal Cimala, Markéta Hlinovská and other distinguished Czech artists. Intermezzo has been organised by Galerie Pictura as part of this year’s Opera Nova festival, which was launched by a joint performance of the acclaimed Czech opera singer Vanda Šípová and the celebrated diva Soňa Červená. The exhibition is open to the public free of charge every day from 10am to 7pm.


23. 6. 2019

An exhibition dedicated to Otakar Ostrčil

The composer, conductor and dramaturge Otakar Ostrčil served as the director of the National Theatre Opera for 15 years (1920 -1935). To mark the 140th anniversary of his birth, the Blaty Museum in Soběslav opened a special exhibition and unveiled a bust in the nearby park.

Ostrčil’s work played a major role in the history of the National Theatre in Prague, while his creation was closely linked with Soběslav, a town he regularly visited, especially during the last years of his life. A versatile artist and morally principled man, he pursued progressive approaches to theatre-making. Although Ostrčil’s methods might have been overly controversial for his colleagues, as well as audiences and critics, his legacy has proved to be timeless, having made a significant impact on the development of the National Theatre and other institutions alike. During his tenure at the National, Ostrčil sought to stage works of all composers, yet he had a special penchant for Bedřich Smetana’s music. His adaptations of the operas The Bartered Bride and The Kiss were among the productions that gave rise to fierce polemics.
To mark the 140th anniversary of his birth, the Blaty Museum in Soběslav opened a special exhibition, representing the room in which Ostrčil liked to spent time composing, including his personal belongings. At the same time, his bust, created by the sculptor Karla Vobišová, was unveiled in the nearby park.
The National Theatre thanks for the invitation to participate in the event!

23. 6. 2019

Dalibor back on stage

An interview about the new production with Jaroslav Kyzlink, the chief conductor of the National Theatre Orchestra

What does Dalibor mean to you?

Smetana’s third opera is a wonderful work, at once heroic and lyrical … Clearly inspired by Beethoven’s Fidelio, as well as Richard Wagner’s music dramas, it is extremely challenging for the lead soloists, who in the past included numerous iconic singers. On the other hand, its characters are not entirely veritable, being overly idealised. Even though Smetana set the opera to a Czech libretto, he rather perceived the phrases of the vocal parts as German, which causes considerable problems, with the Czech text many a time not being consistent with the music. Smetana splendidly worked with the motifs and superbly differentiated between intimate scenes – the famous violin solos in dialogues with the cello and the harp – and combat or ceremonial passages.


The opera is now being staged in Prague after 17 years – is it the first time you are conducting  Dalibor?

I am delighted that Dalibor has returned to the National Theatre. Following Libuše in the anniversary year 2018, we intend to stage all the other Smetana operas by 2024, when we will be celebrating the bicentenary of the composer’s birth. Yet this is the very first production of Dalibor I will be conducting. When I was a child, I heard Vilém Přibyl’s legendary account many times. A few years ago, I assisted with the most recent adaptation of Dalibor in Brno, where I had the opportunity to work with such first-class singers as Eva Urbanová and Leo Marian Vodička … It was a valuable experience indeed, as the opera has been scarcely performed at Czech theatres.



How have you approached the current production?

Like any other productions – I have explored the available sources, striven to follow the score and drawn inspiration, while trying to keep a distance from the previous implementations. Smetana’s music is immensely rich in motifs, but, in my opinion, the sound must be accommodated to today’s reality  - the instrumentation cannot be performed precisely as it is written - to  put is simply, the sforzatos, accentuations and fortissimos on every other note cannot be observed, or we would be overwhelmed by brass and percussion, which would drown the vital moments of the vocal parts, the string cantilena and woodwinds.


You conducted Libuše at the beginning of the current season. What is your relation to Bedřich Smetana’s works?

As the music director, I can say that I am “condemned” to perform Smetana’s music – yet it was my choice and I feel immense responsibility. Conducting any work at the National Theatre is a challenge, yet as regards Bedřich Smetana’s titles, the task is even more difficult to accomplish, as you have to take into consideration the “historical optimism”, which is understandable, albeit not objective.


What is it like to work with the soloists cast in the new production?

The stage director Jiří Nekvasil and I have paid great attention to the solo roles, with the majority of the singers portraying the characters for the very first time. As I said, the vocal parts are extremely exposed in all respects. Judging from the rehearsals to date, I expect their performances to be outstanding. The artists cast in the lead roles – Peter Berger and Michal Lehotský as Dalibor, Dana Burešová and Kateřina Hebelková as Milada, Adam Plachetka and Svatopluk Sem as King Vladislav – and other National Theatre Opera soloists and guests are top-notch singers, and I  believe that the new production of Dalibor will enchant the audience as much as it has inspired the creative  team.


Following the premiere and the second performance, the National Theatre Opera company will appear at the Smetana’s Litomyšl festival. Do you like conducting in the open air?

Annual appearances in Litomyšl have become an indispensable part of our work at the end of every season. I recall the extraordinary atmosphere at the festival, even though I must admit that open air performances involve certain risks and imperfections in terms of staging and acoustics. I am happy that following Libuše last year, we will round off the current National Theatre Opera season with two festive performances of a new production of Dalibor at the festival in Litomyšl.

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