Originally the New German Theater, Prague State Opera with its spacious auditorium and Rococo decorations is one of the most beautiful theater buildings in Europe. It was built by Prague citizens of German nationality in the 19 th century and many renowned musicians performed there.
There used to stand a simple building of New Town Theater since 1858. It was demolished few decades later and Prague Germans decided to build an exclusive theater for German Theater Association there. Architect M. Wertmüller build it according to plans by Viennese theater building company Fellner and Helmer.
New German Theater
The New German Theater was opened in 1888 with the opera The Mastersingers of Nürnberg by Josef Wagner. Mainly operas were staged in the theater and many famous singers, such as Enrico Caruso, sang there. The world premiere of Richard Strauss´s opera Elektra took place there in 1910.
After the rise of Nazism in Germany, some German artists persecuted by the regime could perform in the New German Theater in Prague.
The theater´s name changed many times during the eventful 20 th century. After the World War II., it became Czech people´s theater called “Theater of 5 th May”. It was renamed once again in 1949 as “Smetana Theater” and finally it became an independent stage called “Prague State Opera” in 1992.
Decoration of the State Opera
The decoration of Prague State Opera is also worth mentioning. A tympanum on the frontage is adorned with sculptures depicting scenes from antique mythology. You can see busts of artists, victims of fascism, in the interior. The Prague State Opera is situated in the New Town, near the Wenceslas Square.