The State Opera house in Prague, which first opened its doors in 1888, is undergoing a major renovation. The project is set to cost over 800 million crowns and will take more than two years, during which time the State Opera will put on productions at other venues.
With its spacious auditorium and neo-Rococo interior the theatre house is considered one of the finest in Europe; the design for the building was drawn up by the Fellner and Hellmer architecture studio in Vienna and also involved the architect of the Vienna Municipal Theater, Karl Hasenauer, while Prague architect Alfons Wertmüller supervised the construction process. The main hall is to be restored as closely as possible to its former glory and the reconstruction is to bring numerous technical improvements. Viewers will be able to use touchscreen displays offering surtitles in several languages and stage elements are to be automated and run from a central computer. The reconstruction started three months ago. It is the first major renovation job on a large state-owned theatre since 1989.