My Modern Met, a site devoted to art, architecture, and design has chosen its list of the world’s most beautiful opera houses. Naturally, Prague’s Estates Theatre (Stavovské divadlo) made the round-up of thirteen grand opera houses. Writes contributor Sarah Barnes:
“The beauty of opera is only matched by the places in which it’s performed. These grandiose settings fuse fine art with architecture into one stunning cultural center. As photography demonstrates, the design—including ornamental gilding, balustrades, and chandeliers—is even more stunning when the seats and stage are completely empty.”
Estates Theatre is in good company: the list also includes Palais Garnier in Paris, France, and the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, all astonishing for their “juxtaposition of past and present.”
The mention is timely; 2016 marked the 260th anniversary of Mozart’s birth—the composer conducted his Don Giovanni at the opera house in 1787. Director Miloš Forman shot his Oscar-winning film Amadeus there in 1983 while a new Mozart movie used the venue as a location last spring.
The Neo-classical Prague landmark remains one of the few European theaters to remain preserved in its almost original state to the present day.
The Estates Theatre isn’t the only Prague must-visit for opera buffs. The State Opera House originally opened in 1888; it is currently closed for renovations with performances taking place at Karlin Theatre.
The National Theatre (Národní divadlo), known as the alma mater of Czech opera, is one of the most important Czech cultural institutions, built in the 19th century during the Golden Age of the Czech national revival.