The city of Prague is lucky enough to boast two gorgeous main opera houses, each one possessing its own charm and historic importance. The Prague State Opera House was built in 1888 and was originally called the German Theater; the German artists of Prague had been performing in the Estates Theater, alternating with the Czech company, and wished for their own theater. The theater, designed by the Vienna duo Fellner and Hellmer with Karl Hasenauer and the Czech, Alfons Wertmuller, premiered on January 5th with the performance The Mastersingers of Nurnberg by Wagner and the theater was hailed as one of the most beautiful German theaters in Europe. With the rich ornate neo Rococo decor in the interior, one can only say that that statement is absolutely true. When you enter the theater, you feel as though you have entered a scrolling golden dream floating through the white gilded foyer, continuing through the corridors to the spacious ornate auditorium with the massive gold chandelier and painted ceilings. The dramatic usage of white and gold together with blood red velvet is effective, emotional and simply put, gorgeous. If you really want to make your evening at the opera unforgettable, consider booking tickets in an elaborate opera box as opera tickets in Prague are very affordable compared to Western prices, so go for the gold and make yourself feel like a European aristocrat for a night. While you are visiting this golden dream take a second to contemplate the complex history of this building; from Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss directing in this gilded palace, to the Communist regime, where opera was thought too elitist ensuring that this gem of a building would fall into a dilapidated state. Luckily the theater has been lovingly and meticulously restored to its former glory. With a repertoire of opera and ballet ranging from Puccini, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Prokofiev, Donizetti and many others, the Prague State Opera is sure to feed your cultural appetite for an evening or, if you wish, a season.
Address: Legerova 75, Praha 1, +420-296-117-111, www.opera.cz
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