Prague: Estates Theatre - Stavovsk? DivadloIt took almost two years to build the Estates Theatre, the oldest theatre in Prague, which officially opened in 1783 with a performance of Lessing’s play, Emilia Galotti. Originally called Count Nostitz’s Theatre after its founder, it was built to present German dramas and Italian operas.
In 1862, a German ensemble took up residence and the theatre’s name was changed to the Royal Provincial German Theatre. German productions were staged until 1920 when the theatre became part of the National Theatre. It was then renamed the Estates Theatre.
The theatre added Czech plays to its repertoire as a way to attract the broader public. Czech plays by authors František Hrubín, Milan Kundera and Josef Topol were all presented here. The theatre also attracted world-renowned musical artists such as Nicolo Paganini, Carl Maria von Weber, Rubinstein, and Gustav Mahler.
Still, the theater is most well known for its connection to Mozart. The premieres of two of his operas were staged here: Don Giovanni on October 29, 1787, which Mozart himself conducted, and the opera La Clemenza di Tito in 1791 for the coronation of Leopold II.
Today, the theatre is a popular venue for operas and ballets presented in conjunction with the National Theatre. Operas by Mozart are a mainstay of the theatre’s yearly performance schedule.