Tosca Prague State House

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December 2022

Giacomo Puccini had been intrigued by Victorien Sardou’s drama La Tosca ever since 1889, when in Milan he saw a performance featuring the celebrated actress Sarah Bernhardt. Yet the complicated negotiations between his publisher Giulio Ricordi and Sardou, as well as his working on the operas Manon Lescaut and La bohème, delayed his composing Tosca, which he would only complete in 1899. The world premiere took place at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 14 January 1900 and was a huge success, even though Gustav Mahler said it was a “masterful patchwork”, and Richard Strauss castigated it in even harsher terms. 

Nevertheless, today the opera about the famous singer Tosca, her lover (the painter Cavaradossi) and the malicious chief of police Scarpia, set in 1800 in Italy at the time of Napoleon’s war against Austria, is one of the most popular operas worldwide. 

The opera is staged in Italian original version and Czech and English surtitles are used in the performance.

Photo: Jaroslav Kratochvíl, Jan Kačír, Daniel Jäger

Duration of the performance: 2 hours and 45 minutes, 2 intermissions

Program and cast

Prague State Opera

The State Opera today


The State Opera (formerly the State Opera Prague, between 1948 and 1992 the Smetana Theatre, and originally the New German Theatre) has been a part of the National Theatre since 2012. The Opera and Ballet ensembles give repertory performances at the State Opera.




The Prague State Opera resides in the building which on January 5, 1888 was opened as a Prague German stage with the performance of Wagner’s opera, The Mastersingers of Nürnberg. In the 19th century, Prague Germans performed in the Estate’s Theater in alternation with a Czech company. Desire for their own theater led to negotiations in 1883 for the construction of a new theater building for the German Theater Association. Over the next three years, a blueprint was drawn up and handed over to the Vienna atelier of Fellner and Hellmer. Also sharing in the design was the architect of the Vienna Municipal Theater, Karl Hasenauer, while Prague architect Alfons Wertmüller took part in the construction. Financing came from private collections. With its spacious auditorium and neo-Rococo decoration, this theater building is among the most beautiful in Europe.




By car

On Wilsonova street, from the left lane close to the State Opera building take the slip road to the Slovan above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.


By tram


By daytime tram No. 11 to the stop “Muzeum”, through the underpass beneath Legerova street in the direction of the NationalMuseum, at the crossroads turn right along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.


By daytime trams Nos. 3, 9, 14 and 24 or night trams Nos. 51, 52, 54, 55, 56 and 58 to the stop “Václavské náměstí”, then by foot uphill on the left side of the Wenceslas Square to the traffic lights across Wilsonova and Vinohradská streets. Then turn left along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.


By metro

To the “Muzeum” station, lines A and C (green and red), and then by foot along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.

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