enczsksiplhudeit
/ enMain menu 
Navigation:  Theatre Database
EN | CS

Antonín Dvořák Theatre

Alexander Graf

alias Divadlo Zdeňka Nejedlého, součást Státního divadla v Ostravě (1948-1990),Stadttheater Mährisch Ostrau / Městské divadlo v Moravské Ostravě (1907-1945),Divadlo Antonína Dvořáka (od r. 1990), součást Národního divadla moravskoslezského (název býv. Státního divadla v Ostravě od r. 1995),Zemské (Velké) divadlo v Ostravě (1945-1948)
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1905 | Architectural competition

The city invited the architectural offices of Ferdinand and Hermann Helmer, Franz von Krauss and Josef Tölk, J. Roth and Alexandr Graf to participate in the competition. The  first prize was awarded by the building commission and the local architect Felix Neumann to the design by the Viennese architect Alexandr Graf (1856-1931). He was chosen over two renowned Viennese architects Franz von Krauss (1865-1942) and Josef Tölk (1861-1927).


(detail)28. 9. 1907 | Inaguration theatre performance

The realization was taken on by the construction company Eugen Noë & Ferdinand Storch from Moravská Ostrava.

The gala opening of the new building of the City Theatre occurred on the 28th of September 1907 with the premiere of the play Wilhelm Tell by Friedrich Schiller.


(detail)30. 's 20. century | Proposals for reconstruction

In the year 1931 Karel Kotas submitted a proposal for constructing an operations building connected to the already standing structure by an underground tunnel and bridge from the level of the first floor. Bohuslav Fuchs also designed the overall reconstruction of the existing building, which he would expand both at the entrance tract and in terms of the stage; providing it with a Functionalist look with glass façades.

These suggested proposals were not carried out, however.


(detail)1944 | Theatre closure
The air strike by the American airforce on Vítkovice and the centre of  Moravská Ostrava on the 29th of August 1944 damaged the building so extensively that it was forced to stop its operations. Immediately after the liberation, repairs were begun according to a design by an employee of the building authority of Moravská Ostrava the architect Evžen Friedl and the architect Jan Jírovec.
(detail)1946 | Theatre reopening
The theatre began its operations in May 1946 with a premiere of  Libuše by Smetana.
(detail)1956 | Completition of the reconstruction
On the occasion of the post-war reconstruction, the Brno architect Jan Tymich had prepared a project for the overall remodelling of the theatre in the form of orthodox Neo-Classicism. The façades thereby acquired a contemporary look. The reconstruction in the spirit of Historicism, corresponding to the Neo-Classical ideology of Socialist Realism in architecture, was initiated in June1954 and completed with official approval in the middle of August 1956.
(detail)1971 | Reconstruction of the building

In the year 1967, Ivo Klimeš from Stavoprojekt Ostrava prepared a design for another reconstruction project of the theatre. The reconstruction work was partially carried out over the years 1969-1971. Despite the incomplete nature of the work, the introduced construction work ranks among the finest work of I. Klimeš, inspired by Western European Brutalism.


(detail)2000 | Reconstruction of the building

This final marked intervention into the appearance of the theatre consisted of the addition and reconstruction of the building on the basis of a project by the Ostrava architectural office Arkos, specifically the architect Josef Havlíček  carried out in the years 1999-2000 with the the co-operation of Radim Ulmann.

The final phase of the reconstruction became the new structure of an operations building in direct proximity opposite the back façade of the theatre according to a design by the architectural office Arkos specifically the architect Josef Havlíček and with the co-operation of Vít Klimeš from the years 2000-2002 and carried out in the years 2001-2002.


(detail)31. 12. 2000 | Inaguration theatre performance
Gala opening of the theatre took place on 31. 12. 2000 with the play The Golden Fleece

People

(detail)Alexander Graf |main architect, architect

A co-worker of the atelier Fellner and Helmer. He employed the proven Renaissance-Baroque style as was usual in the atelier Fellner and Helmer in most of the small city theatres he built in various parts of the monarchy. By the other buildings, he did not take great delight in experimenting  as the buildings have the form of the Italian or German Renaissance and are ornamented with Baroque motifs.

More theatres

(detail)Karel Kotas |architect

A Czech architect, a disciple of Jan Kotěra. The majority of his building is located in Ostrava, where he was without  competition during the 1930 and most of more important architectural assignments was commissioned to him. He participated in competition for a building of Moravian Ostrava Saving Bank and won. He was commissioned by execution of the new storehouse Brouk a Babka and later store and residential house of Italian insurance company Riunione Adriatica di Sicurta.

In:


(detail)Bohuslav Fuchs |architect

One of the leading representatives of Czech Functionalism ,of  the so called Brno architectural school. With wide sense for harmony between new building and the environment, he helped to create a modern city from Brno.

Source: Archiweb

More theatres

(detail)Josef Havlíček |architect

He was a member of inter-war artistic avant-garde striving for technical and social revolution. He was a typical constructivist, but with a sense for visual solution of buildings. He designed urbanistic concepts, public building and residential blocks. Most of them have been never realized because of their excessive generosity or eccentricity. However, the building of General pension institute remains the most typical building of Czech functionalism.

In: Archiweb

More theatres

(detail)Ivo Klimeš |architect

Significant architect from Ostrava. In his work he was dedicated above all to the designs of theatres. The most well known of his projects are Most city theatre and reconstruction of the theatres in Ostrava. In his designs form 1960´s applied sharp features and  crystallic  forming of the materials.  Then he switched to more organic compositions with oval and soft materials inspired by the Scandinavian architecture.  His work , gradually more  focused on the designs of the theatres , made him a leading expert on this issue.

Source:

More theatres

Jan Tymich |architect
(detail)Radim Ulmann |architect

Czech architect and designer. Mainly in the field of designing furniture for theatres and music halls.
English version : http://www.designulmann.cz/?s=theatre-armchairs

 

More theatres

Frantz Krauß |architect - participant of the competition
Josef Tölk |architect - participant of the competition
(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

(detail)Ludwig/Leopold Kosig |sculptor

Among his works belong Apollo Cycle, stucco figuration  at the ceiling’s edge in the Graz Theatre auditorium.

In: LIST, R. Kunst und Künstler in der Steiermark. Ein Nachschlagwerk. OÖ. Landesverlag Ried im Innkreis 1967, s. 428.

More theatres

(detail)Helena Scholz-Železná |sculptor

She was one of the most important sculpturers in Silesia county around the end of 19th century.

Source:


(detail)Jiří Myszak |sculptor

Sculptor, author of statues on frontage attic of Culture House of Ostrava city: “Work with children”, “Innovator”,”Chemistry” or “Mother”, “Laboratory technician”.

 

More theatres

History

      The growth in the number of inhabitants along with the economic potential of Moravská Ostrava and the outlying villages led the city government in the second half of the 19th century to considerations regarding the necessity of establishing a city theatre with its own building, so as to prevent the city being dependent on the occasional theatre activities in the halls of the national houses at that time, or at times from the permanent theatre in nearby Opava. As early as the 1870s an initiative appeared focused on establishing a theatre and concert hall in the city. Serious negotiations began once again in the year 1902 when a construction fund was established at the initiative of the director of the city savings bank, Vincenc Popp. The savings bank eventually donated ten thousand crowns to the construction fund in April 1902. At that time serious discussion had begun regarding the site of the future theatre. On the 22nd of November 1904 the city council discussed the construction programme for the theatre building, designated both for plays as well as for musical productions and operetta. The city assembly consequently approved the building programme and established a five member construction commission with V. Popp as the chairman. The remaining members included the builder and member of the municipal commission Hans Ulrich, the headmaster of the school for girls Alois Schwarz, member of the municipal commission Alois Hilf and the headmaster of the grammar school Vladimír Hanáček. The architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Hellmer created a design in the year 1905 situating the new building on the square Antonínovo náměstí. One of the variant studies also considered a locality near the Ostravice River at the axis of  the street Alžbětina ulice (today ulice Českobratrská). The Antonínovo náměstí square locale was finally chosen however.  Since a backfilled mine-works, Antonín pit, was already located at the designated construction spot at the time of the preparations for the construction of the theatre, the specialised commission decided to move the project for the theatre thirty metres further in the south-west direction in January 1906 . As a consequence a sufficient and gradually landscaped area in front of the building emerged, where a fountain with a sculptural group of a boy with seals was placed prior to the opening of the theatre.

     The results of the project competition, announced by the city in March 1905 were already known by that point. On the basis of their experience with operations of theatre buildings in Opava, Olomouc, Bílsko, Salzburg, Jihlava and Znojmo the city invited the architectural offices of Ferdinand and Hermann Helmer, Franz von Krauss and Josef Tölk, J. Roth and Alexandr Graf to participate in the competition. The well-known architectural office Fellner and Helmer refused to participate, insisting on a direct offer of the project. The  first prize was awarded by the building commission and the local architect Felix Neumann to the design by the Viennese architect Alexandr Graf (1856-1931). He was chosen over two renowned Viennese architects Franz von Krauss (1865-1942) and Josef Tölk (1861-1927). One of the decisive criteria was the fact that Graf submitted an more affordable design consisting of slightly less than 400 thousand crowns for a building for more than eight hundred forty people, whereas Krauss and Tölk promised a building with 780 seats for almost sixty thousand crowns more. The fact that Graf created an opulent building in the spirit of late Historicism also played a role for Moravská Ostrava, an industrial city without a corresponding historical tradition and without any renowned secular historical buildings. The palace form, inspired by the example of high and late Neo-Classical Baroque, fulfilled the ambition of this emerging city to achieve balance with its neighbouring, historically and culturally more important towns. Graf had studied at the Vienna Technical University under Heinrich Ferstel and Karel König. He consequently worked in the office of Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer whose work became a basic inspiration for his own theatre structures. Graf's most significant theatre buildings include Kaiserjubiläums Stadttheater (today Volksoper) with elements of the northern Renaissance in Vienna (with Franz von Krauss, 1898). Apart from the theatre in Ostrava he also designed the theatre buildings in Znojmo (1898-1899), Ústí nad Labem (1907-1909) and Most (1909-1911) within the Czech Lands.

         In terms of technology the Ostrava realization ranked among the first theatre buildings to make extensive use of a reinforced concrete construction, in particular in the foundations and ceilings. This was due to the fact that the building was situated upon a tunnelled-under area. Graf consequently designed the foundations as a one and a half metre long solid reinforced concrete plate into which he inserted the gas and heating systems. The construction of the roof was carried out with steel with a view to the local metalworks industry, produced at the Vítkovice mining and foundry company.

     Although the project was approved by the regional committee on the 9th of October 1905, construction permission was not acquired for the project until the 10th of January 1906 along with the approval from the mining office for the construction site on the square Antonínovo náměstí. Delays were caused from the Czech side protesting against the construction of a new theatre without their participation. Consequently, certain parts of the plan were reworked, with the actual construction work only beginning in July 1906. The realization was taken on by the construction company Eugen Noë & Ferdinand Storch from Moravská Ostrava. In November of that same year the interior work was begun made possible by the roofing of the almost completed carcass. In the summer of 1907 the installation of the sculptural group on the main façade took place, the furnishing for the auditorium was designed and the artistic décor was completed. The gala opening of the new building of the City Theatre occurred on the 28th of September 1907 with the premiere of the play Wilhelm Tell by Friedrich Schiller. The final price of the building amounted to 580,000 crowns.

Not long after the opening minor repairs were carried out. The number of seats in the hall was increased by removing the central aisle on the ground floor. More serious changes to the building were considered during the between-the-wars period. In the year 1931 Karel Kotas submitted a proposal for constructing an operations building connected to the already standing structure by an underground tunnel and bridge from the level of the first floor. Bohuslav Fuchs also designed the overall reconstruction of the existing building, which he would expand both at the entrance tract and in terms of the stage; providing it with a Functionalist look with glass façades. The main floor of the structure was to contains shops, while the foyer was designed by Fuchs with an upper gallery to open the space up to the light.  These suggested proposals were not carried out, however. The theatre served in its original look up to the beginning of the 1940s when during the German occupation administration, reconstruction due to needed expansion of the grounds of the building came about; this occurred in the back parts of the theatre.

The air strike by the American airforce on Vítkovice and the centre of  Moravská Ostrava on the 29th of August 1944 damaged the building so extensively that it was forced to stop its operations. Immediately after the liberation, repairs were begun according to a design by an employee of the building authority of Moravská Ostrava the architect Evžen Friedl (1909-1954) and the architect Jan Jírovec (1901-?). The number of  seats was increased while the back entrance to the auditorium was abandoned. The projection booth for films and a second sound booth were reconstructed in the back space. The auditorium was lit up with new chandeliers and the theatre equipped with modern light technology from the Siemens company, purchased during the war. This made the theatre, immediately after the war, one of the best equipped, in terms of lighting, buildings in the country along with Tylovo Theatre (today Estates Theatre in Prague). The addition of an additional floor to the side tracts, single-storey up until this time, created space for offices for the master painter, costume storage, office of the opera supervisor and the choir practice room. The new appearance also brought additional space for the audience, the foyer and the office of the art director. The theatre began its operations in May 1946 with a premiere of  Libuše by Smetana.

  On the occasion of the post-war reconstruction, the Brno architect Jan Tymich (1906-?) had prepared a project for the overall remodelling of the theatre in the form of orthodox Neo-Classicism, with a focus on the entrance part with the main  façades and the front part of the side façades. The proposal completely redesigned Graf's Neo-Baroque composition, introducing a porticus of a width of five windows which developed the space of the original entrance ramp with an arcade with arches; the three main entrances into the theatre consequently led from there.  The original protruding porticus with a terrace consequently disappeared. The architect thus expanded on these lines the theatre with another room on the level of the floor of the foyer of a length of the five windows. The façades thereby acquired a contemporary look with a high columned order, with this introduced concept repeating in the first two axes of the front part of both side façades with arcade arches on the ground floor and with barrel vaulted windows on the first floor. The reconstruction in the spirit of Historicism, corresponding to the Neo-Classical ideology of Socialist Realism in architecture, was initiated in June1954 and completed with official approval in the middle of August 1956. This step was, however, still not the definitive solution to the operational facilities of the theatre.

Consequently as early as the year 1967, Ivo Klimeš (1932) from Stavoprojekt Ostrava prepared a design for another reconstruction project of the theatre, consisting of the remodelling of the entire exterior including  Tymich's recently added changes to the main façade and the significant layout adaptations. The reconstruction work was partially carried out over the years 1969-1971 with the tearing down of the back extension and its replacement with a new structure; this was also accompanied by radical reconstruction of both side façades. Operations were increased with a new, robustly conceived back extension over the entire width of the structure, serving to provide new areas, in particular a new practice room on the second floor and a ballet hall. These adaptations were also focused on the auditorium, stage, flies and a new utilities network. Additional changing rooms for actors were added and hygiene facilities. Both side façades acquired a new shape and material design in the form of cladding from grey granite. Rhythmic low vertical slots for the windows carved into the robust vertical stone clad bays and offsets  were also added these being typical composition elements of Brutalism, levitating above the base of the façades and partially containing artistically designed lighting of the building. The practical intention of the reconstruction of the older façades was the aim of closing off the theatre from disturbing influences from the surroundings. 

Despite the incomplete nature of the work, the introduced construction work ranks among the finest work of I. Klimeš, inspired by Western European Brutalism. First and foremost, the unrealised reconstruction of the main façade would have represented a Neo-avant-garde sculptural variation, unique within the context of Czech architecture of the 1960s . As Felix Haas has pointed out, the author wanted to create “a movement and light colour composition, the opposite of theatre fantasy and music in the form of an expressively rhythmic and sculpturally expressed vertical composition of volume which on the basis of the intended variable evening lighting would have been reflected in the fountain situated directly in front of the façade. Klimeš developed this type of concept in an unrealised competition entry for the Town Hall in Amsterdam with its emphasis on the plastic formation of the architectural work (with Evžen Kuba, 1967), later in a carried out competition entry for a new theatre in Most (first prize 1968) and in an unrealised competition entry for a concert hall for the Ostrava State Philharmonic Orchestra (first prize 1969). He found inspiration, for example, in the work of Hans Scharoun and his building for the Berlin Philharmonic. In the case of the A. Dvořák Theatre in Ostrava, however, Tymich's Neo-Classical façades from the middle of the 1950s were preserved, thus creating the contemporary, from the architectural style, hybrid appearance of the building, enhanced by the final additions in the most recent decade.

This final marked intervention into the appearance of the theatre consisted of the addition and reconstruction of the building on the basis of a project by the Ostrava architectural office Arkos, specifically the architect Josef Havlíček (1938) carried out in the years 1999-2000 with the the co-operation of Radim Ulmann (1928), focused on the furnishing of the auditorium and the interior. The reason behind this was the insufficient space requirements of the theatre and the need to further expand its grounds and adapt the space for its visitors. A decision was made to incorporate the space of the arcade in front of the main entrance into the interior of the theatre by closing it up. The protruding main entrances to the head of the façade served to increase the comfort of the entrance parts of the interior and made the introduction of a lift for visitors possible on the northern side. The foyer was enlarged as well, while the space of the oldest part was connected to the rooms which came into being with the reconstruction work by J. Tymich, thereby opening up the resulting space with a half-circular skylight to the foyer on the second floor, where an additional snack area was introduced. New changing rooms also came into being. 

     Over the course of reconstruction, a wing for technical equipment, offices and practice rooms was added on to the existing building on the south-west side. The architecture of this annex, arising from Post-Modern conceptions of historicising citations, was in the form of adaptations of the new parts to the older parts of the theatre. The hung glazed façades are consequently of grey tone in order to correspond to the stone cladding of the façades from the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, while in contrast parts of the façades are painted with colour and with rhythmic belt rustic work in the style of the main façade by J. Tymich from the middle of the 1950s. Thus, the addition failed to accomplish a defining concept, instead amounting to an indistinct creation on the architectural level.  The ceremonial reopening of the theatre took place on the 31st of December 2000 with a performance of The Golden Fleece by Marek Pivovar and Robert Graves with music by Pavel Helebrant and with the participation of all the troupes of the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre: dramatic art, opera, operetta and ballet.

     The final phase of the reconstruction became the new structure of an operations building in direct proximity opposite the back façade of the theatre according to a design by the architectural office Arkos specifically the architect Josef Havlíček and with the co-operation of Vít Klimeš from the years 2000-2002 and carried out in the years 2001-2002. A prismatic storied building combining similar Post-Modern motifs came into being on an oblong ground plan with slightly sloped side façades. It shares the glazed as well as plastered elements in the façades with the already-mentioned actual building of the theatre.

Names

The theatre originally had the German name Stadttheater Mährisch Ostrau in light of the German character of the city government. After the year 1918 changes in the nationality orientation of the City Hall brought about the introduction of a Czech troupe and the related Czech name. From the year 1919 throughout the entire between-the-wars period it bore the name Spolek Národní divadlo moravskoslezské (Association of the National Theatre, Moravian-Silesian), established on the 13th of October 1918 in Polská Ostrava. The name of the theatre was once again made German during the protectorate when it was only allowed to be used by an Ostrava German theatre troupe.  After the liberation at the end of April 1945 the building received the name Zemské or Velké divadlo and from the September 1948 became part of the State Theatre in Ostrava. In September of the following year it became the Zdeněk Nejedlý Theatre, only to be changed once again in the year 1990 when it received the new name  Antonín Dvořák Theatre. In the year 1995 the State Theatre in Ostrava returned to its historical name Národní divadlo moravskoslezské (The National Moravian-Silesian Theatre ), which includes as part of it the  Antonín Dvořák Theatre, the seat of its dramatic art, opera and ballet troupes. 

Current state

The building with its L letter-shaped ground plan makes up a solitary figure with its dominant position on Smetana Square in the centre of Ostrava. It faces out on the square with its five-windowed Neo-Classical façade with high column orders in the style of Tuscany pillars with simple capitals. The ground floor is articulated by barrel vaulted entrances to the area of the former arcade from the period of Tymich's adaptations, or the area of the entrance ramps in front of the theatre according to Graf's project. The entrances are equipped with new glazed doors. A similarly shaped large barrelled window on the first floor is linked with the shape of the arcade. A triangular gable, decorated with a symmetrical figural, sculptural relief composition of a man with the head of Orpheus, is situated above the simple architrave order of columns with its style similar to the sculptural group above the gable (see later). The relief was created in the year 1954 by a pair of Ostrava sculptors Antonín Ivanský (1910-2000) and Karel Vávra (1914-1982). The concept of the décor of the main and side façades is supplemented by relief portraits of famous theatrical and musical figures, with varied success in attempts at realism, on the parapets by the barrelled vaulted windows on the first floor. The main façade has figures from Czech theatre – Alois Jirásek, Leoš  Janáček, Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, J. K. Tyl, while the side façades are decorated with famous European artists - W. Shakespeare, L. v. Beethoven on the north-east and P. I. Tchaikovsky and M. Gorky on the south-west. The author of these portraits was the sculptor Jiří Myszak (1925-1990). Only the figural work has been preserved from Graf's original façades, in the form of the official-looking academic tradition design of the group Poetry Victorious over the Sphinx by the Viennese sculptor Leopold Ferdinand Kossig (1864-1944) which has been shifted from its original location to the level of the new  façades. The appearance of the main façade originates from the reconstruction work initiated in June 1954 and completed in the middle of August 1956 with minor changes in the form of the closed off arcade and with its inclusion into the interior spaces of the theatre during reconstruction from the years 1999-2000.

The majority of the side north-east façade and the central part of the side south-west façade received its present look during the reconstruction work in the second half of the 1960s. They are articulated with carved vertical slots with windows, divided by narrow prismatic bays as well as short levitating prismatic projections in the front parts, all with cladding from grey granite. At the point where the north-east façade according to  the design by Klimeš meets Tymich's front tract a commemorative inscription is set into the stone cladding with information regarding the reconstruction work on the theatre from the years 1969-1971. Additionally, in front of the Brutalist north-east façade, approximately at the middle, is a monument to Bedřich Smetana, a bust on a prismatic pedestal, decorated in the central part with high relief with figures of putti with musical instruments, all carried out in sandstone. From the front, is an inscription BEDŘICH SMETANA, under the relief and from the back the dates 1824-1924. This consists of a monument created by the sculptor Rudolf Vávra for Mariánské Hory in the year 1924 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of B. Smetana. In the years 1983-1984 the sculptor Jan Rybička created a replica in co-operation with the architect Zdeněk Špaček (1922-1996) of the already-mentioned work which was placed in front of the side façade upon the occasion of the Year of Czech Music (1984).

A new operational wing with a trapezoid ground plan with façades with a combination of glazed hung walls of a grey colour and light painted plastered parts with rectangular windows bearing belt rustic work is linked to the core of the building at the central part of the south-west façade. A metal sculptural work by Vladimír Janoušek (1922-1986) in the form of an abstract bodily structure on subtle beams, a grotesque figure in movement, originally introduced at the side entrance to the theatre during the reconstruction work at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s is now situated in front of the main administrative entrance articulated by the parterre of the new south-eastern wing facing out on the side street from Smetana Square. The rear south-eastern façade of the main wing is made up of a prismatic socle with a terrace on the first floor. A bay window on the upper floors protrudes above the terrace along its entire length, robustly jutting out from the volume of the building, articulated with belt windows and conceived in similar fashion as the remaining parts with stone cladding. The operational wing slightly protrudes on this side from the façade of the main wing of the building with a small, rectangular resting courtyard inserted between it and the original volume of the theatre; serving to ensure a certain autonomy for both parts of the structure.  

Despite all of the reconstruction work, the layout of the main building has preserved in the theatre parts Graf's designed communication links, altered only with later interventions. Barrel corbels are situated within the stucco frames in the entrance vestibule, expanded by the former arcade, with busts placed upon them of the first director of the opera troupe from the years 1919-1927 Emanuel Bastl (1874-1950) by the sculptor Jiří Myszak, the second director of the opera from the years 1927-1943 and 1947-1948 Jaroslav Vogel (1894-1970) by the sculptor Marie Zlatníková (1901-1985) and the first director of the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre from the years 1919-1923 Václav Jiříkovský (1891-1942) by the sculptor Rudolf Svoboda (1924-1994). Corridors leading to the auditorium and the side boxes with dressing rooms are accessible from the vestibule. At present a stair case as well as a lift connect up the upper floors with the ground floor in the side stair bays. A large foyer, gradually expanded over the course of the 1950s is situated on the upper floor. During the final reconstruction the foyer was connected up to the rooms of Tymich's façade addition with broken walls and a design with a system of four pairs of columns with cornice heads.  

This is a type of traditional 'opera glass' theatre with an auditorium on a ground plan in the shape of the letter U, crowned by a compressed vault and articulated by lunettes on the sides and in the rear part. At the level of the inserted balcony the auditorium is articulated by vaulting, decorated with sculptural work and with a gilded belt. The auditorium is equipped with three levels of closed boxes on the sides, with a balcony in the rear part on the upper floor with a gallery above it with amphitheatre-shaped widely developed rows of seats. Overall, it houses 531 places, with 517 suitable for an audience. The proscenium boxes also serve as theatre operational areas, on the upper floor primarily for lighting technology, while on the ground floor as part of the play space. The auditorium has preserved its Neo-Baroque character first and foremost in terms of the gilded stucco décor of the ceiling, portals and parapets of the boxes and balcony with stucco rocaille, mesh-work and vegetative details as well as the red tone wallpaper and upholstering of the seats. The white–red–gold combination provides the hall with a ceremonial feel. The front part of the ceiling is decorated with a painting by the Viennese painter Eduard Felix Veith (1856-1925 – originally from Nový Jičín). It consists of a figural allegory in which symbolic figures of Mining, Industry and Trade give tribute with laurel wreaths to the figures of Poetry and Music, placed into a victory arch. The original theatre curtain by the Ostrava painter Hans Ruppert, depicting allegories of Labour, Trade and Art in the form of a sitting miner looking out over Moravská Ostrava, has not been preserved. The left side depicted Apollo in his sun chariot with the figures of Mercury and the goddess of peace in front of him.  The curtain was produced by the Vienna company Kautsky & Rottonara. A pair of life-size figural reliefs with the names Drama and Music by the sculptor Helena Scholzová -Železná (1882-1974) on the theme of Orpheus' stories was similarly not preserved; it was destroyed during the reconstruction work on the theatre at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s.

     The proscenium contains the orchestra pit which has a capacity of 50 spots maximum with the floor under the level of the stage and equipped with three  elevating tables. The border is 10.5 metres wide and 5.5 metres high. The vaulted portal is decorated with sculpted glazed décor from the auditorium side. At the axis of the arch it is decorated with palm fronds with a cartouche with the coat-of-arms of the city, originally Moravská Ostrava, at present employed for all of Ostrava. The stage is divided from the auditorium by a plush curtain, netting and an iron fire curtain weighing 3800 kg. The fore-stage has a depth of 9.4 metres, a width of 11 metres and a height at the level of the grid work of 17.5 metres. It is equipped with a turntable with a diameter of 9 metres with two trap doors. The upstage is 7 metres deep and 8 metres wide. The main stage is equipped with 14 pieces of hand winches with a weight bearing capacity of 80 kg and 13 pieces of motorised winches with a weight bearing capacity of 240 kg. The upstage has 15 pieces of hand winches with a weight bearing capacity of 80 kg and 3 pieces of motorised winches with a weight bearing capacity of 160 kg along with a back-cloth winch with a heavier weight bearing capacity. Within the framework of the final reconstruction work new mechanical stage technology was installed including lifting equipment, turntables, trap-doors and orchestra tables. It is fully electrified with digital controlling which allows for both synchronized as well as non-synchronized movement with smooth changeable speeds and placing of runways with a preciseness of   +/- 1cm. The stage lighting has been digitalised with ADB memory counters and reflectors from ADB, Toshiba, Martin, Pani as well as Czech producers of niche lighting with memory counters. The communication and video distribution system is also new. The acoustics and video means with processing directing as well as recording are also digitalised with potential use of all contemporary mediums.  The sound terminal above the gallery contains a  Yamaha Promix R02 sound controlling board. Both acoustic and visual recording of the stage is also installed as well as appropriate reproduction systems. There is also a cutting room for creating recordings of performances with a view to archiving and additional needs. The recording studio which is part of the orchestra practice room,  makes possible recordings of the highest quality both for the needs of the theatre as well as for various commissions including film music, etc.

The ballet hall from the reconstruction from the end of the 1960s is located in the back part of the main building while the choir practice room is situated in the oldest part of the side structure between the 3rd and 4th floors. The orchestra practice room including the recording studio, for a maximum of eighty members, is situated on the 2nd floor of the new operational wing of the building. The drama practice room is also located there as well as the theatre offices. The oldest parts of the building, marked as part A, do not have a basement while the rear annex from the 1960s, marked B, and the most recent addition, marked C, are equipped with basements and used for technical facilities, the orchestra changing room and storage areas. The ground plan arrangement of the most recent structure of the National Moravian-Silesian theatre, the operational building, situated to the south-east immediately next to the theatre, is designed to blend in with the city environment. The ground floor contains space for shops and offices with display windows. The main entrance to the building is in the middle of the north-west façade with entrances along the sides for  transporting larger objects. The layout is dominated by the space on the first floor for production and storage of stage props. 

Literature and sources:

- Stadttheater in Mähr. Ostrau; Wiener Bauindustrie-Zeitung 25, 1908, s. 266-269 a tab. 59-60.

- Krauss F. [Franz] & Tölk, J.[Josef]: Erklärung zu den Skizzen für das Stadttheater in Mährisch Ostrau; Der Architekt XIV, 1908, s. 73-76.

- Schwarz, Alois: Das Stadttheater in Mährisch Ostrau. Festschrift zur feierlichen Eröffnung des Stadttheaters am 28. September 1907; Mährisch Ostrau 1907.

- Javorin, Alfred: Divadla a divadelní sály v českých krajích I. Divadla; Praha 1949, s. 157-159.

- Bichler-Klimeš-Kuba. Výstava architektonických prací tvůrčí skupiny architektů za období 1957-1967 (katalog); Ostrava 1968.

- Noušová, Jitka: Ostrava. Sedm staletí města; Ostrava 1975, s. 86-87.

- Haas, Felix, Architektura 20. století; Praha 1980, s. 290.

- Štefanides, Jiří: Státní divadlo Ostrava, In: Ostrava. Sborník příspěvků k dějinám a výstavbě města 13; Ostrava 1985, s. 467 ad.

- Jiřík, Karel (ed.): Dějiny Ostravy; Ostrava 1993, s. 246 ad.

- Zatloukal, Pavel: O Moravské Ostravě jako „rezervaci“ architektury pozdní secese a art déco, In: Ostrava. Přísvěvky k dějinám a současnosti Ostravy a Ostravska 18; Ostrava 1997, s. 167.

- Hilmera, Jiří: Česká divadelní architektura; Praha 1999, s. 69-71 a 167, obr. 78-80.

- Šopák, Pavel: Proměny koncepce divadelních budov Národního divadla moravskoslezského v Ostravě, In: Almanach Národního divadla moravskoslezského 1919-1999. 80 let Národního divadla v Ostravě; Ostrava 1999, s. 122-125 ad.

- Zatloukal, Pavel: Příběhy z dlouhého století. Architektura let 1750-1918 na Moravě a ve Slezsku; Olomouc 2002, s. 375, 379.

- Vybíral, Jindřich: Zrození velkoměsta. Architektura let 1890-1938 v obraze Moravské Ostravy, Ostrava – Brno 2003, s. 46-50.

- Václavík, Lumír: Historie Thálie v moravskoslezské Ostravě. Souhrn významných historických dat – Sto let budovy městského divadla v Ostravě; Ostrava 2007, s. 90-110.

- Alexander Graf, In: http://www.architektenlexikon.at/de/180.htm (stav k 1. 9. 2008).

- Šťastná, Marie: Socha ve městě. Vztah architektury a plastiky v Ostravě ve 20. století; Ostrava 2009 (v tisku).

 

 

Tags: Austria-Hungary, Belle Époque, Brutalism, detached building, Fin de siècle, Neo-Baroque, prestige building

 

Author: Strakoš Martin

Translator: David Livingstone

Additional information

No information has yet been entered

Add information

Name: The name will be published

Email: The email will not be published

Information: Please enter information about this theatre, at least 10 characters

fiveminustwo=