|Built in 1888, the Prague State Opera (Státní opera Praha) is the city's foremost opera house.|
It presents a full programme of opera and ballet by Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Rossini, Donizetti, Prokofiev and other well-known composers.
The season runs from September to June.
Extensive renovation has restored the famous theatre to its former glory. The Prague State Opera now provides a comfortable, 21st century experience in historic surroundings.
The Prague State Opera is located two minutes walk from the top of Wenceslas Square and 15 minutes from the Old Town Square.
In the 19th century, the opera house opened as the "New German Theatre"; at that time the Czech lands formed part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Since then, it has changed name and ownership several times, each time reflecting the political climate of the day.
A significant change came at the end of World War II. The Czechs had regained control of their country. Opera, which had not been staged for several years, was reinstated. And as an expression of national identity, the building was renamed the Smetana Theatre, after the famous Czech composer, Bedřich Smetana.
However, the optimism was short lived. Within a few years Czechoslovakia became a communist state, a regime in which opera was considered elitist. Over the next three decades performances were rare and the building suffered neglect.
The theatre's renaissance came in 1992 with the fall of communism. A name change to the now familiar Prague State Opera followed, and a regular programme of opera and ballet was reinstated.
The final chapter in the story is perhaps the grandest of all: In 2016 the Prague State Opera closed for extensive renovation works. In 2020 it reopened, and is now more magnificent than ever. It is a modern, 21st century opera house with a long and varied history.
For many visitors to Prague, a night at the opera is a highlight of their trip.
For listings and to book tickets: Prague opera & ballet performances.