The Devil and Kate

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December 2024 Next


Antonín Dvořák’s two most successful operas, The Devil and Kate, and Rusalka, are based on fairy-tale motifs. Blending folk and humorous with lyrical and fantasy elements is one of the typical (and still very popular) traits of Czech dramatic creation. Dvořák created a masterly patchwork of contrasting scenes – folksy, breezy, fiendishly fervent and courtly noble.

Owing to the inspired invention with musical motifs and orchestra instrumentation, The Devil and Kate is a thoroughly original work from beginning to end, one that surpasses Dvořák’s previous operas in many respects.

Adolf Born's exquisite sets and costumes bear the hallmark of this original and popular artist.


National Theatre Chorus
Ballet of the National Theatre Opera
National Theatre Orchestra


WARNING: Gunshots will be heard during the performance.

Program and cast

Conductor: David Švec; Jaroslav Kyzlink

Shepherd Jirka: Aleš Briscein

Kate: Michaela Zajmi

Devil Marbuel: Pavel Švingr

Princess: Maria Kobielska; Dana Burešová

Mother : Jana Sýkorová

Lucifer: Jiří Sulženko

Devil porter; Lukáš Bařák; Csaba Kotlár

Devil - guard: Jan Líkař; Karel Drábek

Chamber-maid: Eliška Gattringerová

Steward: Lukáš Bařák ;Csaba Kotlár

Musician: Vjacseszláv Korszák

Devil - child: Jozef Brindzák; Petr Dvořák


Creative team

Stage director - Marián Chudovský

Sets and costumes - Adolf Born

Choreography - Daniel Wiesner

Chorus master - Pavel Vaněk


Approximate running time: 2 hours 45 minutes, 2 intermission (20 minutes)

Language: In Czech, surtitles in English

Prague National Theatre

The National Theatre today


The historical building of the National Theatre, constructed in 1883, is generally considered the prime stage in the CzechRepublic. It is the flagship of the National Theatre institution, today amounting to five buildings and encompassing four companies. You can see there Opera, Drama and Ballet performances.


Idea of building a stately theatre for the Czech nation


The National Theatre is the embodiment of the will of the Czech nation for a national identity and independence. Collections of money among the broad mass of the people facilitated its construction and hence the ceremonial laying of its foundation stone on 16 May 1868 was tantamount a nationwide political manifestation.


The idea of building a stately edifice to serve as a theatre was first mooted in the autumn of 1844 at meetings of patriots in Prague. It began to materialise through a request for “the privilege of constructing, furnishing, maintaining and managing” an independent Czech theatre, which was submitted to the Provincial Committee of the Czech Assembly by František Palacký on 29 January 1845. The privilege was granted in April 1845. Yet it was not until six years later – in April 1851 – that the Society for the Establishment of a Czech National Theatre in Prague (founded in the meantime) made its first public appeal to start collections. A year later the proceeds of the first collections allowed for the purchase of land belonging to a former salt works with the area of less than 28 acres, which predetermined the magnificent location of the theatre on the bank of the river Vltava facing the panorama of Prague Castle, yet at the same time the cramped area and trapezoidal shape posed challenging problems for the building’s designers.

By car

To the centre (OldTown), approach on Masarykovo nábřeží (Masaryk embankment) in the direction from the Dancing House, at the crossroads in front of the National Theatre turn right to Divadelní street and then right again to Ostrovní street to the National Theatre car park. Parking costs 50 CZK/h.


By tram

By daytime trams Nos. 6, 9, 18 and 22 and night trams Nos. 53, 57, 58, 59 to the stop “Národní divadlo” – in front of the NT historical building; by daytime tram No. 17 to the stop “Národní divadlo”.


By metro

To the station “Můstek”, line B (yellow), and then by foot on Národní street; or to the station “Karlovo náměstí” and then two stops by tram No. 6, 18 or 22 to the stop “Národní divadlo”. To the station “Staroměstská”, line A (green), and then two stops by tram No. 17 to the stop “Národní divadlo”. 

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