Soloists from the State Opera performed unexpectedly at Prague’s main strain station Hlavní nádraží on December 14 to publicize the coming reopening of the State Opera in early January. The State Opera is located next to the train station on Wilsonova Street, and the video in its title asks why people can’t also sing at the station.
The State Opera (Státní opera) soloists performed several well-known arias in the six-minute clip while dressed as a handyman, a police officer and various travelers to an audience of unsuspecting passengers who were waiting for their connection in the station lobby.
The performance starts with a woman playing on a public piano, while a man in a tuxedo waves a baton. Baritone Roman Jánal, on a ladder in a blue jumpsuit, sings the “Toreador” song from Carmen. Mezzosopranos Michaela Zajmi and Kateřina Jalovcová, standing in the crowd in street clothes, then join in as onlookers record the event on phones.
Bass baritone Pavel Švingr, in a police uniform and tenor Josef Moravec as business passenger are next to pop up in the crowd. Bass baritone František Zahradníček then appears, holding a set of skis. Jánal and mezzosoprano Jana Horáková Levicová, dressed as a janitor with a mop, follow up with a romantic duet. The singers then all join together for a few final operatic hits.
The State Opera building has been closed since July 2016 for extensive renovations. Work is finally completed and the building will soon be turned back over to the National Theatre, which operates it. The first public performance is set for January 5, 2020.
The opening concert will take place exactly 132 years after its first opening, with an evening titled State Opera in the Changes of Time (1888–2018), directed by film and theater director Alice Nellis.
Also in January 2020, there will also be an audiovisual show on the front facade of the State Opera. The art group 3dsence will take advantage of the specific location of the theater building on the highway. the show will run December 31 to January 5, and will be shown on a big screen on Wenceslas Square on January 5 during the theater opening.
“The first tests in the new premises will take place at the end of this year. A great attraction for artists is the new rehearsal space and recording studio with excellent acoustics,” National Theater spokesman Tomáš Staněk said previously.
The total cost of the renovation is estimated at 1.3 billion CZK. The turntable under the stage has been completely rebuilt, and new theater curtain was made, in addition to new air conditioning and other upgrades. A previous renovation took place in the 1970s.