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The Secret

Bedřich Smetana

Premiere performances: 24 and 26 May 2024 at the National Theatre

The National Theatre
Premiere production
English surtitles

Choose date

  • May 2024
  • June 2024
    May 2024

    Friday 24. 5.

    Subscription sale

    Premiere production
    June 2024

    Sunday 16. 6.

    Subscription sale

    Premiere production

    Basic information


    The National Theatre


    In Czech, surtitles in Czech, English


    May 24, 2024

    The production is part of the celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of Bedřich Smetana’s birth.


    • 2022-2023
    • 2023-2024


    Stage director
    Ondřej Havelka
    Set designs
    Martin Černý


    National Theatre Chorus
    National Theatre Orchestra

    The Secret is Bedřich Smetana’s seventh, and penultimate, opera. It is also the second fruit of the composer’s collaboration with the librettist Eliška Krásnohorská. Completed in June 1877, the piece received its premiere the following year at the New Czech Theatre in Prague. The National Theatre first staged the opera on 12 May 1885, on the first anniversary of Smetana’s death. Yet it only attained wide popularity after the post of the opera company’s director had been assumed by the conductor Karel Kovařovic, who was fully aware of the qualities of the mature Smetana work. Krásnohorská furnished Smetana with an exquisite libretto, whose themes may bring to mind William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or the Czech author Ladislav Stroupežnický’s play Our Uppish and Defiant Fellows, dating from a later time. The story, set in a small Czech town, focuses on a feud between the families of the councillors Malina and Kalina, who for years have jostled for social superiority. Kalina strives to prove that he is not as poor as he was two decades ago, when Malina thwarted him when he wanted to marry his sister Róza. Despite the hostility between their fathers, Malina’s daughter Blaženka and Kalina’s son Vít love each other. All disputes are ultimately settled after the discovery of an old note by Friar Barnabáš, which leads Kalina to a treasure. But are piles of gold the most precious thing to be found? Smetana’s The Secret has been undertaken by Ondřej Havelka, a stage director possessing an acute sense for music theatre and humour, noted for his visually captivating storytelling. The production will be conducted by Robert Jindra, the music director of the National Theatre Opera.

    The production is part of the celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of Bedřich Smetana’s birth.


    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. On 1 March at 9am we started selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of August 2023.

    When purchasing online, you can get an e-ticket. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.

    Parking at the National Theater

    While visiting The National Theatre and the New Stage you can use again the underground car park of the National Theatre. Information and a parking fee.


    What to wear?

    By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.

    Buffets at the National Theater

    No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!

    Menu (PDF, 70 kB)