State Opera productions are now at Karlín

A long-planned renovation has pushed the program to a new home

The State Opera is currently being renovated and a total of 95 performances will be moved to Hudební divadlo Karlín during the 2016/17 season, with some additional shows going to the National Theatre. The renovation is expected to take over two years and should extend into 2018.

The season at Hudební divadlo Karlín kicked off already with Nabucco, a Verdi classic that had been running at the State Opera since 1993. Other operas from the repertoire that will be there are Rusalka, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Hansel and Gretel, and Romeo and Juliet. Strauss' Die Fledermaus, originally staged in 1991, is also returning to the program. Late in the season, Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach will premiere there. It will be directed by the brothers Michal Caban and Šimon Caban.

In addition to the opera of Romeo and Juliet by Charles Gounod, there will be a ballet version of the same Shakespeare tale. The ballet is by Sergei Prokofiev, with choreography by Petr Zuska. The production has won several awards.

Hudební divadlo Karlín will also be presenting its own popular musical productions at the same time, so not every show there is a National Theatre production.

Hudební divadlo Karlín was built in 1881 as vaudeville house and home for popular entertainment such as animal acts, ventriloquists, mimes and dancers. A not-yet-famous Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel are supposed to have performed there on a continental tour. In the 1930s, it became a home for modern opera. It served as a provisional stage for the National Theatre during World War II. Since the war it has mostly been dedicated to musical theater.

The building was badly damaged in the floods of 2002 and its program was moved to the Congress Center. The rebuilt theater opened in 2006. Before the flood, it was the largest theater in Prague with 1244 seats, but after the renovation that was reduced to 921 seats making it second largest.

Tickets for National Theatre productions can be purchased at the Hudební divadlo Karlín and other National Theatre box offices.

For a complete National Theatre program, visit www.narodni-divadlo.cz
For Hudební divadlo Karlín productions go to www.hdk.cz

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