This post I will dedicate to an important figure for me on this trip, someone I am following from Vienna until Prague. I am talking about the talented Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
I am a little ashamed to confess that I had never gone to the opera before. And it’s not because I didn’t like it (although maybe I didn’t always like it), but rather for lack of opportunity and budget. We don’t have opera in my city, and I have always heard that it is expensive.
We were in Vienna for 3 days and I missed the chance to go to the opera, despite that it is possible to get cheap tickets for the standing room. in reality, we didn’t have much time in Vienna and on the other hand, my illusion was to attend the opera in Prague, in the Estates Theatre.
Estates Theatre of Prague
Once in Prague, I found out about the opera performances in the Estates Theatre, also known as the Mozart Theatre, since the operas presented here are mainly his. But that’s not the only reason, this theater is where Mozart himself directed his masterpieces Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni. in fact, it’s the only theater standing today where once Mozart performed his plays.
I wanted to see Don Giovanni, an opera specially composed for Prague’s public, due to the special affection that Mozart felt for this city and to the success he had here. This opera was released on October 17, 1787, in Prague. At the entrance to the theater, there is a sculpture of Il Commendatore, a character of Don Giovanni, built in honor of Mozart.
Unfortunately, Don Giovanni was not available for my dates, but it was Le Nozze di Figaro, an opera presented in this theater as well. I had already missed the opportunity in Vienna, therefore, I didn’t want to miss it here.
(If you want to get some ideas about what to do in Prague, don’t miss my post about what I did in Prague in 4 days, click here )
Buying our tickets
One day before the performance we went to the ticket office to ask if tickets were available. And luckily they did, in fact, there were only tickets left in the first gallery, in the standing room, and 2 seats with a column in front. Following the advice of the woman in the box office, we bought standing tickets because the view was better. We didn’t mind because opera would last only 3 hours and we wanted to have good visibility.
We paid 150 CZK (€ 6,00) for each ticket, a bargain!. Unlike Vienna, tickets can be bought in advance, without the need of waiting hours in the queue before the play. At least we could buy them at the box office. In this link, you can find information about the programme and the tickets narodni-divadlo
Opera night in Prague
On the big day, I put on a pair of trousers that I had bought especially for the occasion. Even though we were told that the dress code was not strict. We arrived early. when we entered a host asked us for the tickets and appointed the way to follow to reach the first gallery.
The system is the same as in Vienna for the standing area. Tie a scarf or a piece of clothing to mark your place, and go to tour the theater or sit while the opera begins. In any case, the tickets sold for this area are few, there is room for everyone.
The theater is small but very beautiful and elegant. It’s decorated in blue and gold, with a large chandelier on the ceiling and other small ones in corridors.
Le Nozze di Figaro
Finally, the show began, with the orchestra playing the famous overture. Although we were up to the top, the sound and the view were good. I could not help imagining Mozart standing there, directing the orchestra. Later, what I did miss were the seats, especially after having walked all day in Prague. I regretted not having bought the seats with the column in front. The price was the same and the column was rather small, it did not block the view at all.
The weddings of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), is in Italian, it is possible to get the script in English (or the language you want) to follow the story. In the theater, there is a screen above the stage where the opera is translated into Czech and English. Le Nozze di Figaro’s story is very funny, you will surely find it entertaining, and the music even more wonderful.
the best experience in Prague
The opera was fantastic, it’s something that can not be explained with words. I left fascinated, happy, it was, in fact, the experience I enjoyed the most in Prague. I want to return to see Don Giovanni, in this same theater, special and intimate. My advice is that if you like opera or classical music, or even if you are not fans but you think you can enjoy it, do not miss it. This theater has a very special vibe.
Another thing, I was really worried about the dress code, do not let that stop you from going. Of course, we do not want to feel out of place, but having a semi-formal outfit is enough. In the area where I was, there were some people speaking in French who wore jeans and trainers. I had read that you had to avoid those casual outfits. However, no one forbade them to enter, nor did the people stare at them. There are people who are dressed very elegantly indeed, but it’s not mandatory.
What you have to avoid is to use your cell phone, take photos or videos for the duration of the performance. Then you could get disapproving looks. Even so, there are people who do it, especially tourists.
After the show, we went to have a pizza quattro formaggi near there. It was perfect to end such a pleasant evening. Nearby there is a metro station that we took to return to our apartment.
Does anyone like opera? Have you visited the Prague Estates Theater? tell me your experiences in the comments 🙂 ⇓