|The Prague State Opera (Státní opera Praha) is the city's foremost opera house. It stages opera and ballet by Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Rossini, Donizetti, Prokofiev and other well-known composers.|
The season runs from September to June.
The Prague State Opera is located two minutes walk from the top of Wenceslas Square and 15 minutes from the Old Town Square.
The opera house opened in 1888 as the "New German Theatre"; at that time the Czech lands formed part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Since then, the theatre 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.