THE ESTATES THEATRE

The Estates Theatre, the oldest theatre building in Prague, is located on the Fruit Market. The theatre was ordered by the burgrave of Prague, František Antonín the count of Nostic, who was a great supporter of the performing and musical arts. He managed to get the permission of the then Emperor Joseph II., and thus in 1783 Prague finally got a unique theatre, which has been the centre of cultural events for a long time. In 1799 Nostic sold the theatre to the Czech nobles and that is why the theatre is called “Estates” because the word derives from the Czech meaning for nobles. The theatre building was designed by the architect, Antonín Haffeneckr, and it stood out in Classical style elegance. In the mid-19th was when the theatre was rebuilt, where an extra floor and stairs were added and at the end of the century, it was the building completed with a Neo-Renaissance iron structure.
A number of excellent artists have gone through this theatre. In the year 1834, the theatre hosted a premiere of the play Fidlovačka, by the important playwright of the time, Josef Kajetán tyl. The tune “Kde domov můj,”which was introduced in the play later became a part of the Czech national anthem.
The history of the theatre is more than rich. The diabolical tones of Paganini’s violin were heard from this stage but it was mostly home to the tones of Mozart’s operas. In January 1786 the “Marriage of Figaro” was conducted by Mozart himself here and, unlike the Viennese, Prague residents were absolutely charmed by his tunes. Mozart composed, perhaps the world’s most famous opera “Don Giovanni” for his Prague audience. Situated on the right-side from the main door, there is a memorial plaque that recalls the world premiere of the opera was held at the Estates Theatre in October 1787 and it was conducted by Mozart himself.

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