If only I understood a bit of Czech, I would have gone to a play at this lovely old theater which was just a couple blocks from my hotel in the Prague district of Vinohradech. I would love to have seen their staging of Friedrich Schiller’s play Marie Stuartovna (Mary Stuart), which was the inspiration for Donizetti’s fabulous Italian opera Maria Stuarda. The play and the opera both tell the story of Mary Queen of Scots and what might have happened if she had ever met her cousin, Queen Elisabeth the First of England, which in real life she never did.
When I was in Prague in the spring of 2011 the theaters were prominently displaying this poster urging people to “dress appropriately for the theatre”. I thought this was a funny poster because the young man seems to be wearing his confirmation suit that is a size too big for him, whereas the young lady is proudly wearing a funky retro dress that she seems to have found in a second hand shop. Later I was told that these are the latest fashions from one of the expensive up-market clothing shops on the Paris Street (Pařížská) in the center of Prague. (Perhaps somebody from Prague can tell me if this is true?)
In any case, I can’t recall seeing anybody dressed like this at either of the opera performances I attended in Prague. Most people were neatly but casually dressed — neither excessively formal nor blatantly sloppy. And they were certainly not all wearing the latest fashions from Paris Street.
The moral of this for tourists is that you can still go to the opera (or theater, if you understand Czech) even if you don’t have any fancy clothes with you. You don’t have to dress up like a penguin to go to the opera, not even in Prague.
My photos in this post are from 2011. I revised the text in 2021.
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8 thoughts on “Vinohrady Theatre in Prague”
I went to the opera in Prague wearing crumpled clothes from my back pack and don’t recall any dirty looks.
Nobody cares about how you are dressed, in my experience, except that the authorities in Prague and Milan occasionally try to turn back the clock.
We went to the opera on a weekend trip to Prague a number of years ago and were delighted at how inexpensive it was, and was also somewhat surprised to run into someone in the queue for the cloakroom who I knew from a completely different world back in the UK. Not sure which theatre it was now…
I’ve been to performances at two of the three opera houses in Prague. I hope they all survive the pandemic.
That’s a good conclusion.
My mother used to do the same thing with her grandchildren. “I think your cousin Elizabeth will probably be wearing a skirt” if she thought my children might turn up in jeans. And she said the same thing to Elizabeth – Barb will probably be wearing a skirt.
It’s funny – I have only ever thought of or seen girls confirmation dresses. I never realized that boys had to have a ‘confirmation suit’.
Despite visiting Prague twice, I’ve never once heard of nor stepped into Vinohrady Theatre. Which is an utter shame, because it looks stunning; I can imagine that witnessing an opera inside must be quite the experience! I did attend a small concert at one of the churches in the evening, and there’s something about music in an intimate setting on a quiet night which makes it all the more memorable. Thanks for sharing!
At the Vinohrady Theatre they don’t perform operas, only plays in Czech, which is why I never attended a performance there. I don’t know if they even have an orchestra pit.
I did see operas at two of the other theatres in Prague.