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December 2023 Next

The State Opera production features Josef Svoboda’s legendary scenery dating from the era of the May the Fifth Grand Opera (today the State Opera). This Tosca production premiered on 4 May 1947, six days prior to the designer’s 27th birthday.  In June 1999, Svoboda’s sets, ranking among the most accomplished in Czech post-war theatre, were reproduced by Daniel Dvořák, a pupil of Svoboda’s and the then director of the State Opera Prague. The faithful copy, made by means of modern technologies, contributed to the great popularity of the production.

Giacomo Puccini had mulled over Victorien Sardou’s La Tosca ever since 1889, when he saw in Milan a performance of the drama, starring the feted actress Sarah Bernhardt. Yet owing to the complicated negotiations between his publisher, Giulio Ricordi, and Sardou, and due to Puccini’s working on Manon Lescaut and La bohème, the composition was delayed and Tosca was only completed in 1899. The world premiere of the opera, on 14 January 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, was a resounding success, even though some scorned it, including Gustav Mahler, who referred to the work as a “Meistermachwerk” (sham masterpiece), and Richard Strauss, who dismissed it in even harsher terms. Today, the opera about the diva Tosca, her lover, the painter Cavaradossi, and the malicious police chief Baron Scarpia, set in 1800 in Italy during the time of Napoleon’s war against Austria, is one of the most popular operas worldwide.

Suitable for audience from 12 years.

Program and cast



Floria Tosca

Mario Cavaradossi

Baron Scarpia


Cesare Angelotti





Stage director
Martin Otava
Sets (reconstruction 1999)
Daniel Dvořák
Josef Jelínek
Lighting design
Pavel Dautovský
Chorus master
Adolf Melichar
Chorus master of the Kühn's Children's Choir
Jiří Chvála
Jitka Slavíková

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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