This and That

Random bits of my life

Prague State Opera

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 24, 2014

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted photos of Prague. This is the Prague State Opera. I’ve always wanted to watch an opera in an old European opera house–one of those Baroque chocolate boxes with gilded balconies and chandeliers, and champagne at intermission. The Prague State Opera was perfect, and very reasonably priced (most expensive tickets were around $50, much less than you’d pay at La Scala or Covent Garden). You can buy tickets on-line.

We watched Dvorak’s opera, “Rusalka.” Most of these photos were taken during the intermission. I didn’t want to be too obvious with the camera, so I didn’t bring a wide angle lens with me. The photos don’t do it justice. The State Opera is considered one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe.

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The Prague State Opera. originally called the New German Theater, opened in 1888. From 1949 to 1989, it was called the Smetana Theater. It was originally built by the  German-speaking community in Prague, when Prague was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Opera is very popular among the Czechs. While the concerts in chapels tend to be specifically for tourists (i.e., 45 minutes of Great Baroque Hits, played by competent but not outstanding musicians), opera attracts a lot of the locals. If you’re planning to go, dress up a bit.

I didn’t get a great shot of the facade because I would have had to cross a very busy street, several lanes wide. By the time the opera was over, it was dark, so I just took this quick snapshot from the sidewalk in front. The State Opera is half a block from Wencelas Square, in the direction of the train station.

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Here’s the the view from inside our box. Ironically, the tiny wooden seats in the box seem to be less comfortable than the padded seats in the orchestra. There are a few advantages to having a box. You don’t have to check your coat because there are coat hooks on the wall. It’s easier to get out at the end of the performance. If you’re in a ground floor box, you’re close to the bathrooms.

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Ceiling details…

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The boxes on the third level (below) have statues holding lamps.

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The boxes on either side of the stage are bowed.

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Close-up of the third-level boxes

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The lobby is much smaller, with rococo ceiling mouldings.

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One Response to “Prague State Opera”

  1. Karen R said

    Wow – beautiful! I can only imagine the total experience of being there🙂

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