Classical Music, Opera
Prague has two well-known established concert halls – the Dvořák Hall in Rudolfinum and the Smetana Hall in the Municipal House – but it is possible to find concerts of classical music all around the city. Among the most renowned concert halls are Bertramka (Museum of Mozart) and Atrium in Žižkov. Concerts and recitals of classical music held in churches and palaces are also popular. Regular concerts take place on the steps of the National Museum and during the summer in some of Prague gardens.
Smetana Hall, centrepiece of the stunning Municipal House, is the city’s largest concert hall, with seating for 1200. This is the home venue of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and also stages performances of folk dance and music. Location: Náměstí Republiky 5, Old Town; tickets 250-600 CZK; Open box office 10am-6pm
The two major companies, the National and the State, both perform exclusively in their own theatres – the National Opera Company in the National Theatre; the State Opera Company at the State Opera. The latter presents a predominantly classical Italian repertoire, always in the original language, and performances are always popular. Tickets should be bought in advance. The National Opera Company has a more experimental repertoire, and most of its operas are performed in Czech. To view a Czech opera, by Czech composers Smetana or Dvořák, the National Theatre is your best opportunity to do so. A lesser known opera company based at the Estates Theatre performs mainly classical, Italian operas in the original language. Opera tickets for top-price seats range from 1,000 CZK to 1,300 CZK which makes opera in Prague more accessible than most cities in Europe.
Prague State Opera
The impressive neo-rococo home of the Prague State Opera provides a glorious setting for performances of opera and ballet. An annual Verdi festival takes place here in August and September, and less conventional shows, such as Leoncavallo’s rarely staged version of La Bohème, are also performed here. Location: Wilsonova 4, New Town; opera tickets 100-1150CZK, ballet tickets 100-800CZK; Open box office 10am-5.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-noon & 1-5.30pm Sat& Sun.
Prague Spring – International Music Festival
This global festival offers a programme full of of ballet, opera and concerts from the 12th May to the 3rd June. Lovers of music can listen to a wide variety of music from the top musicians on the planet. Rudolfinum is the primary venue but the palaces and churches are also used and some of these are only publicly accessible during these events. The festival starts on Bedřich Smetana’s death anniversary. At his grave in Vyšehrad, a service is conducted and during the evening there’s a concert hosted at Municipal House featuring musicians performing his most well known piece, My Country (Má Vlast). The festival also finishes at Municipal House.
Classical Music/Opera listing
Estates Theater (Stavovské Divadlo); www.stavovskedivadlo.cz
Lobkowicz Palace; www.hrad.cz
Municipal House (Obecní Dům) www.obecni-dum.cz
National Theatre (Národní Divadlo); www.narodni-divadlo.cz
Prague State Opera; www.opera.cz
St. George’s Basilica; www.hrad.cz
St. Nicholas’s; www.svmikulas.cz
Spanish Synagogue; www.jewismuseum.cz
Divadlo Ponec; www.divadloponec.cz
National Theatre; www.narodni-divadlo.cz
Prague State Opera; www.opera.cz
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