National Theatre Opera, Prague
Opera Národního divadla, Praha
The National Theatre is the Czech Republic’s representative stage. Today’s National Theatre comprises four artistic ensembles – Opera, Drama, Ballet and Laterna Magika – which alternate in performances in the historic building of the National Theatre, the State Opera, the Estates Theatre, the New Stage and the Kolowrat Theatre. The Opera, Ballet and Drama ensembles choose their repertoire not only from the wealth of the classical heritage – besides Czech authors they also focus on modern international works. After 1989 the Opera has drawn on the existing partnership contacts in order to develop international coproductional projects and since 2004 it has been a member of the organisation Opera Europa which associates European opera companies and festivals. Generations of outstanding figures took turns at the conductor’s stand in the National Theatre Opera orchestra in its early years (e.g. Adolf Čech, Karel Kovařovic, Otakar Ostrčil, Václav Talich, Zdeněk Chalabala, Zdeněk Košler, Bohumil Gregor). Cooperation with international conductors includes, above all, Sir Charles Mackerras. Other distinguished names are Jiří Bělohlávek, Jiří Kout and John Fiore. As for stage directors, the most noteworthy are David Radok, David Pountney, Robert Wilson, Miloš Forman and his sons Petr and Matěj, Jiří Nekvasil, the artistic duo of Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann. For a number of years, the National Theatre Opera has cooperated with hosts of prestigious music and opera festivals in the Czech Republic and abroad, it has participated at festivals abroad and organised regular tours.