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Beskydy Theatre Nový Jičín

Otto Thienemann

alias German Association House
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1886 | Construction of society house

Original building was realized as German society house in 1885-1886 according the design by Otto Thienemann. Ceremonial opening took place on 24.October 1886.


(detail)1947 | Opening

Cooperative Beskydské Theatre was founded with permanent seat in Hranice na Moravě. It searched for a permanent building and it found it in Nový Jičín, where the city council decided to use former German society house to enhancement of Czech culture, after resettlement of German inhabitants. Adjustment of Society house took place probably in 1947. The same year Beskydské Theatre took up residence here and commenced a new season by performance of drama Baron Görtz by Emanuel Bozděch.


(detail)1963 | abolishion of Beskydské Theatre
The city became an operator of the theatre up to 1963, when Beskydské Theatre was abolished under countrywide campaign of regional theatres abolishing. „ Permanent theatre stage“came into existence here after 1963 – empty theatre building with elementary personal for arrangement of host performances of other theatres.
(detail)1992 | Reopening after reconstruction

State of the building became unbearable in 1980s and the city initiated general reconstruction an extension construction of new building. Only circumferential walls and basic disposition of theatre hall remained after this brutal reconstruction (nothing left from original interior). Architects Stanislav Svoboda and Oldřich Pražák from Stavoprojekt Ostrava inserted five storey wing into these walls dedicated to technical background of the theatre. Final approval was granted on 26. 1. 1992. Ceremonial reopening took place on 14. 2. 1992 by Mozart´s opera TheMarriage of Figaro.


People

(detail)Otto Thienemann |main architect

Belonged to the generation of architects, who participated on construction of Ringstraße in Vienna. His architectural style is distinguished by strict Revivalism architecture with elements of Neo Renaissance. He worked mainly in Vienna, where he realized several projects and reconstructions.

In:


(detail)Heinrich Czeike |builder

A large part of his activity is represented by realizations of public or private buildings in Nový Jičín usually according to design of another architects, mostly the ones by Otto Thienemann. He was a co owner of firm "Dampfziegeleibesitzer und Ziegelerzeuger".
In:


Julius Veith |painter
(detail)Eduard Felix Veith |painter

He belongs among representatives of Realism of the end of 19th century. It is possible to find his frescoes or paintings in Bucharest, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, but in Ostrava, Prague, Łańcut, Brno and Nový Jičín as well. He created a painted curtain and eight ceiling paintings in Prague German Theatre (today’s State opera). He also participated on interior decoration of theatres in Ostrava, Brno, Berlin, Vienna or Prague Rudolfinum.

In: http://www.amaterskedivadlo.cz/main.php?data=opona&id=151

More theatres

Václav Šafář |interior designer

History

The Beskydy Theatre building is located in the cadastral territory of Nový Jičín – Horní Předměstí, between Divadelní and Husova Street. The original building was realized as a German Association House in 1885-1886 according to the design by Viennese architect Otto Thienemann (1827-1905). The name of this architect, a student of Viennese Technical University and Academy, is connected especially with the construction of local circular road in 1880s in Nový Jičín. Before this commission, Thienemann was called upon to participate in competition for Artist House (Rudolfinum) in 1873 in Prague. Before the German Association House had been built, two Neo- Renaissance buildings were realized by the same author – building of regional court (1879-1880) and opposite elementary and secondary school (1881-1883)- in relation with Nový Jičín circular road construction. The architect is the  author of several Neo-Renaissance local businessman's villas, for instance Hückl villa (1880-1882).  An idea concerning the construction of a new social centre emerged after the old culture hall above meat bridges in the centre of the city had served out. A lottery was established due to the incentive of six Nový Jičín German associations in 1872, that yielded   first money for the theatre construction. Capital augmentation was being taken care of by an association of the Association House, which raised the initial sum and acquired a loan from local bank in Nový Jičín. The construction began in 1885. Ceremonial opening of German Association House took place on 24th October 1886.

Thienemann designed the project in the style of classicising Neo-Renaissance. Construction works were executed by local firms of Heinrich Czeike , Richard  Kloss  and Josef Blum , masonry works were done by Josef Leide. The original building proceeded from oblong profound layout (hall with small stage) surrounded by lateral wings with minor rooms. A way led the visitor from the foyer in the first floor into a cloakroom in the left wing, toilets and restaurant were located behind it, the latter accessible not only from the hall, but through the staircase as well. A social room was located on the right side by the entrance, further on a social hall and a dining room behind it. A dressing room was attached to the stage by its right side, minor dressing room and a storage room by their left side. Ground floor rooms on the left side served as a background for the restaurant. There was a trap-room, a kitchen, a food storage and so on. The location on the right side of the stage was occupied by a boilerman´s room, a storeroom for wood and coal, a wash-room for dishes, a room for servants and a meeting room accessible from the vestibule with staircase. Another one-flight staircase to the first floor was attached to the left side of the staircase.

In the outer appearance, the main building, covered by a saddle roof,  was surrounded by identical a two storey, one bay wings, roofed by an aisle roof. Three-storey, three bay front elevation is dominated in the exterior with an entrance portico, framed by columns supporting an architrave and a triangular gable. Peripheral axes were broken by   semicircular arched windows, enclosed between pilasters carrying an architrave and a cornice. Three windows in the top floor above the cornice are rectangular with stucco framing. Lateral wings were broken by rectangular windows. The edges were accented with rustication, ground floor with   banded  rustication. Inner rooms of the hall were flanked by balconies in the storey on the lateral walls. In its time, the hall was lit by windows, located under ceiling, which were  walled up probably after the reconstruction of the theatre in 1947. It is obvious from period photographs that   the hall interiors had a  rich painting and stucco decoration. Presently non-existent painting decoration was made with the participation of important Nový Jičín natives Julius Veith with his son  Eduard Veith, stucco and sculpture decoration with the participation of Ludwig Strictius from Vienna. A component of the association house was, presently non-existent, a garden with an outdoor restaurant. Probably still before the hall had been reconstructed into a theatre (1947), an extension of the left lateral wing occurred and the part with sanitary facilities was enlarged.

The emergence of the theatre in Nový Jičín is connected with commencing formation of new theatre operational organization, which had  come into existence during the Second World War. This new body became to be a cooperative theatre, which activity was based initially on the private licence, the enterpriser was not, however, an individual anymore, but the Cooperative. The members were different culture institutions. Beskydy Theatre Cooperative came into existence in this period with a permanent seat in Hranice na Moravě. Core of the company was comprised from mainly amateur actors. The Cooperative was searching for a stable building after the war, and it found it in Nový Jičín, where the city decided to employ the building of German Cultural centre for strengthening the Czech cultural awareness after the German inhabitants had been expulsed. Design for the reconstruction of the building into a theatre originated in this period. Beskydy Theatre changed the seat in 1947 from Hranice na Moravě into Nový Jičín, where it launched theatrical season on 1st September, 1947 by performance of Baron Görtz by Emanuel Bozděch under direction of V. Hamšík. It was nationalized in 1948 by Theatre Act and thus a professional regional theatre emerged, instituted by Nový Jičín city. According to the period documents, the ensemble was working with fluctuating art quality and under political pressures, it was staffed at some points with the personalities as were among others  future dramaturge of National Theatre Otakar Roubínek, future set  director in National Theatre in Bratislava Ladislav Vychodil,  director Karel Novák, actor Rudolf Jelínek and others. The city became the theatre keeper up to 1963, when the Beskydy Theatre was dissolved in June under the statewide campaign of regional theatres liquidation. So called „ permanent theatre scene” came here into the existence after 1963 – an empty theatre building with essential staff for provision of guest-performances of other theatres. A place in the building was occupied by different culture associations as for instance choirs Ondráš a Ondrášek (Ondráš and Ondrášek), Komorní orchestr Pavla Josefa.

A conversion of the culture house for the needs of the Beskydy Theatre occurred probably not until 1947. Fixed auditorium with elevation came into existence in the central hall, the orchestra pit was enlarged, the stage remained in the original state. Lateral windows, providing hitherto hall lighting, were walled up. Right wing commenced to function as a dressing room after having been divided by partitions, left wing was dedicated to operational purposes (a garage in the ground floor, a restaurant, a kitchen, toilets).   Vestibule is accessed by the main central staircase, where a snack bar and cloak rooms were located. The hall was entered from the left and right side. Lateral staircase, with newly made outer entrance, served to the public. Lateral staircase provided the communication with the first floor – a spectator entered through  it into the foyer and thereafter into the main balcony or lateral balconies, which have remained preserved. Thus converted building was functioning up to 1983.

The state of the building became unsustainable in 1980s and the city initiated an overhaul  and an extension of the new building on 1.9. 1984. This brutal reconstruction (nothing has remained from original interiors) left only perimeter walls and foundation disposition of the theatre hall from the historical building. Architects of Stavoprojekt Ostrava - Stanislav Svoboda and Oldřich Pražák – inserted new constructions between these walls and designed a new building adjacent to the rear part of existing building in the spirit of 1980s aesthetics – five storey wing dedicated to technical background of the theatre. Lower volume is connected to high-rise building, deepening stage space in the interior.

Present state

The theatre is entered after reconstruction through the main central or left lateral entrance, where a cash desk is located behind the door. Original main and secondary staircases were removed. Entrance part of the theatre was elaborated most generously (the author of the interior is architect Václav Šafář). After removal of all the historical partitions and stuccos, opening of the entire space came about and its monumentality was increased. Foyer interior became a demonstration of high-quality cooperation of architect and interior designers in that period.  Free space is underlined by abstract, airy glass objects by Jiří Boháč, his main chandelier passes spirally through storey and its variants appear in other  rooms for instance in the smoking room as well. Generous interior is highlighted by a monumental painting by prominent Czech painter Antonín  Kroča or Gobelin tapestries by Jan  T. Strýček as well. The architects sited a cloakroom and a snack bar on the right in the ground floor foyer against the entrance. Both the lateral wings of the ground floor are stipulated  to be a background of the theatre (rehearsal rooms, storerooms, a wardrobe). The main foyer in storey is accessed by a new spacious two-flight staircase in the left wing. Entryways into the auditorium are split into the left and right part in the first floor foyer, a minor theatre hall is built in the left wing with capacity of 111 seats. There is a scenery  storage room with outer ramp behind it, interconnected with stages of both the halls. Snack bar, smoking room and theatre club Musa (The Muse) came into the existence, they are accessible not only from theatre but from the outside as well. Stage space was enlarged in the main hall – thanks to the extension in the rear part of the theatre, its technical background could be enlarged. The installation of new technologies enabled to lower mechanically the orchestra pit, another space emerges after its enclosing – a forestage (11x5m). Stage technicians can utilize 160 spotlights, 120 lighting circuits controlled by the computer, 20 manual fly lines. New auditorium with balcony acquired the capacity of 391 seats (stalls 294, balcony 97).

New modern dressing rooms for actors, musicians and a background for technical staff were placed next to the offices of the theatre management in this five storey building, which is a product of its time as a not much qualitative architecture of 1980s by its style. Communication access and connection with the stage is provided not only by the staircase but by the lift as well.

New construction was completed by building approval issued on 26.1.1992. The Beskydy Theatre was ceremonially reopened to the public on 14.2. 1992 by The Marriage of Figaro in the production by the Moravian Theatre Olomouc.

Insensitive approach to the reconstruction of a historical building, typical of that time, is counterbalanced in the Beskydy Theatre by a relatively functioning communication system of theatre operation, which is convenient in the principle for contemporary necessities of guest-performance scene and it is capable of meeting almost all the requirements of visiting troupes. Another typical shortcoming, so typical for 1980s, became the low-quality approach of builders to the reinforced concrete structure of the new building, which caused another modifications and reconstruction of a new extension already in 2004. The Beskydy Theatre has been  managed since 1.1.1994 up to the preset by Nový Jičín city.

 

Archive source:

- Státní okresní archiv Nový Jičín, Fond Beskydské divadlo Nový Jičín; archiv Beskydského divadla v Novém Jičíně

Literature :

- Chobot, Karel – Karlíková, Miroslava, Beskydské divadlo Nový Jičín 19942-63, Inventář, Okresní archiv Nový Jičín 1985.

- Bouda, Tomáš, Kulturní obraz Nového Jičína na přelomu 19. a 20. století se zvláštním zřetelem k výtvarnému umění, především architektuře (Dipl. práce), FF Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, katedra historie, Fulnek 1984, s. 68.

 

Tags: Austria-Hungary, Belle Époque, Fin de siècle, Neoclassicism

 

Author: Markéta Svobodová

Translator: Jan Purkert

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