enczsksiplhudeitsvhrespt
/ enMain menu 
Navigation:  Theatre Database
EN | SK

Andrej Bagar Theatre

history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)19.9.1992 | Opening

People

Anton Rokošný |architect
Juraj Hlavica |architect
(detail)Andrej Bagar |theatre director

   


History

 

The prehistory of theatre venues in Nitra dates back to 1765 when archbishop Ján Gustíni-Zubohlavský  ordered the “Theatrum Comicum” – Comical Theatre was to be built within the premises of the Gymnasium. After that another theatre was opened in 1844 in the courtyard of the Golden Deer pub where Hungarian and German ensembles presented themselves. It is not clear whether it was a brick house or a mere wooden hall situated above the courtyard tract. This building, however, was not sufficient for the capital of the Nitra district and the local gentry wanted to have a more representative residence. For this reason, in 1878 the district government established a special theatrical committee whose role was to gain finances for building a new theatre house through donations, subventions or by organizing lottery. Though the unofficial name of the construction was “The District National Theatre”, the more frequent one, created at the time of the tender announcement, was “The Nitra Hungarian National Theatre”. It shows the growing magyarization tendencies in the policy of the Hungarian Monarchy in the last third of the 19th century, which was apparent also in Nitra. The theatre was built in 1882-1883 by Budapest Graf and Feszty company, according the design by architect Adolf Voyta. It was opened on 20 October 1883 when the first plenary meeting of magyarization club FEMKE was held in here. That is why a decision that only the Hungarian language could be used in productions was included in the statuses of the theatre. The opening ceremony was on 19 November 1883 by the opening programme which, among the prologue about the agreement between king Belo IV and the people of Nitra and district governor Matej, the national anthem and the extract from Dobos’s tragedy named Ladislav IV, included also the scenes from a comedy by Ferenc Csepreghy – The Red Purse. In March 1945 an air bomb hit the theatre during a rehearsal and the building set on fire. By this the Nitra theatre makers lost their place.  As a provisory building they adapted the space of the “Sokolovňa” – the building which was used before the war by the Sokol sporting club. The gym was transformed into the stage, and it was to serve for theatrical purposes only until the construction of a new building. The first serious attempt of it took place in the 1960s. The reasons of its failure can be read about in the city’s chronicle: “The building of the theatre was placed within the vicinity of the Air Street, in the Kubiček pub. It was a practical reason for this – a simple renovation and a good adjoining of the object to the central  boiler house Párovce. However, the results of the countrywide anonymous competition from 1967 were not clear and did not support this solution. That is why the construction of the theatre did not begin.” [Kronika mesta Nitra za rok 1974, zapísal Robert Schmuck v roku 1994, in: Kronika mesta Nitra 1971-1974, zväzok VII., (jazykovo spracovali, graficky upravili a vytlačili Pavol Sika a Ladislav Ševella), Nitra 1999, Archív Mestského úradu v Nitre]. According to other accessible information it can be said that one of the reasons of the negative result in the construction’s case was also the disapproval of the culture commission which rejected the design by architect Štefan Zhorella which was by that time already being worked out by the Stavoprojekt.  Moreover, the project was not satisfactory from the technological side and the problem was also in the unsolved locality programme. [(rsk): Po 10 rokoch výstavby, in: Nitra, roč. XV., 1991, č. 3, s. 10.]

The idea of building the new theatre did not cease to exist, but it was as late as 1972 the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Socialist Republic expressed a principal position that there was needed to begin the execution of the constructing works from the beginning and not to continue in adapting to the already outdated original project.

The next year a building site was selected in the centre of the city through a competition in which three alternatives were taken into consideration.

However, all the designs situated the new building in Svätopluk Square. In 1975 the Ministry of Culture announced an urbanistically - architectonic competition for the new theatre building. In January 1976 all of 33 designs sent to the competition were evaluated, but the commission had to state that the competition did not bring the hoped-for results.

Therefore it invited the six most successful partakers to the final round. The end of the year showed the results. The first place went to the design by architect Anton Rokošný. Viliam Polónyi, the director of the theatre, said that by its results this design suited the most to the needs of the countrywide cultural institution as the then Nitra District Theatre certainly was. However, the project was later ordered from the Projecting Culture Institute in Bratislava and the team of Juraj Hlavica, Márius Žitňanský and Štefánia Rosincová. Juraj Hlavica and Márius Žitňanský together with architects František Kalesný and Ľubomír Mihálik cooperated also in developing of the interior design. The opening project was approved in 1981; the construction started on 1 March 1982 and was finished in 1992. The building was opened on 19 September 1992 by the production of the play by Jozef Hollý – Geľo Sebechlebský. The interior objects n the new building included also the artistic decoration by Juraj Marth (the central composition in the foyer), Tibor Bartfay (the plastic relief of Andrej Bagar in the entrance hall), Mariám Prešnajder (the curtain with the Great-Moravian scenes with count Svätopluk), K. Šujanová (the wall composition in the representative hall).

The building of the Andrej Bagar Theatre is situated in the northeast corner of Svätopluk Sqaure – the central square of Nitra’s lower town whose shape was formed as early as the Middle Ages. The theatre was designed for drama performances with possible changes of the space for opera, operetta and ballet. Its form was created by blending of two squares in the ground plan, the bigger one being the space of the auditorium with 600 seats, the smaller one being the experimental studio with 150 seats. The northeast and southwest corners of the bigger square are cut diagonally. In the inside, the ground-floor design which from the outside seems quite simple, changes into as for shape a more complex group of matters created by terraces, outer spiral staircases or the multiple extension of the stage flyloft. The outer façade is of light marble facing with the stripes of glass panels with eloxated tombac profiles connected into consistent horizontal units. The glass area dominates also on the entrance façade, oriented to the Square, where in its centre it creates a convexelly protruding volume. The central space of the building is a diagonally placed theatre hall in front of which there is the foyer situated on three above-ground storeys. It consists of two lateral staircases connecting the storeys. In the entrance space on the ground floor there is a cloakroom for visitors directly opposite to the entrance. The central space of the foyer on the first floor is created by a snack bar. In the northwest corner of the third floor there is a restaurant with a café bar.  From the back of the theatre the hall is surrounded by operating spaces at four levels, including the rehearsal room on the fourth floor. The interior has simple shapes, it accentuates the elegance of the materials – the stone facing of the walls and the floor is made of dark-red Tardesi and ochre-sand Kanfanar and small particles of polished brass. There are also architectonic plastic reliefs from polished brass tubes and milk glass. An important expressive element of the interior is light which through connection of various light spaces creates its own architectonic-spatial story. The ground plan of the theatre hall is in a form of two mutually pervading irregular octagons the bigger one of which is the stage and the smaller one the auditorium. The auditorium is created by downwardly narrowing, attitudinally widening and in a moderate concave curved line rounded rows of seats. The stage enables a transformation of theatrical space from the basic proscenium stage to the panoramic one by using the movable proscenium plates. Among the main stage, the stage part has two lateral semi-stages. The main stage consists of seven bridges which together with secondary stools enable to create a plastic relief of the playing ground in a vertical direction. There is also the revolving stage which can be protruded to the proscenium.

The matter of the studio creates seemingly an independent tube, partially drawn into the body of the building. It has its own entrance from the Square. The interior has octagonal shape. Its floor consists of movable stools which enable to create   the desired shape and relief of the playing ground.

From the formal point of view the theatre reflects the late-modernist tendencies into which, mainly in the interior which was executed ten years later, ideas of Postmodernism penetrated. It is seen mainly in the fine square structure of the facing, shapes of the arranging elements etc.

The constructing works affected the Square too – the demolition of the older buildings on the west side had caused that the view on the castle hill emerged. In the vicinity of the theatre a small amphitheatre was built where small productions can take place directly on the Square.

From the second half of the 20th century Nitra experienced a strong building wave. It were mainly new housing estates which were constructed in new localities outside the historical centre. On one side, it was a fortunate solution as the historical shape of the centre was preserved, however, it had some negative consequences. The cumulating of people to the outskirts caused that in the centre there remained only the older and socially inadaptable people. Paradoxically, for this reason the centre became the city’s social and building periphery. It was in 1962 when a new zoning plan was designed in Nitra, but it was approved by the Government of the Slovak Socialist Republic at the end of 1976. Its objective was to transform the central zone into a new political, cultural, administrative and marketing centre. The part of the plan were also partial zoning plans developed for particular districts, and competitions for particular objects. One of them was the design of Svätopluk Square. According to the conceptions about the new look of the Square new objects were to be built in it, which would partially replace the original building. It was also decided that it would be open on its northern side from the original buildings to the foot of the castle hill. It is interesting that this design had already been brought by a countrywide competition for design of the Central Zone, announced in 1967-1968, in which all 35 authors of the designs agreed with this solution. The commission considered this step the right one and the conception was anchored in the zoning plan from 1976. The same opinion was shared by the partakers of the urbanistic competition for the position of the theatre in 1973. All of them situated the building in the Square and they also presupposed the “tearing down of the historical ‘valueless buildings’”[(rsk): Po 10 rokoch výstavby, in: Nitra, roč. XV, 1991, č. 3, s. 10]. This decision had its historical reason – the position of the building site in the northern corner of Svätopluk Square was almost identical with the placement of the District Theatre and the tearing down was “reasoned by the intention to create a great place with the view on the Castle.” [Bečková, Ľudmila: Nitra – aká si?, in: Nitra, roč. XV., 1991, č. 11, s. 10]. The insensitivity towards the historical buildings was after all the characteristic feature of the late Modernism period in Slovakia. The feelings and opinions of the people were taken into consideration only by a few. Many sources show that the people could not get used to the new  shape of the Square and the new building in it. [“Often and with nostalgia, the most of the citizens in Nitra recall the nice surrounding of the old historical square with its neighbouring streets which lay in the place of today’s Svätopluk Square.” – Editorial Office: Poznáte budúcu podobu Svätoplukovho námestia?, in: Nitra, roč. XV., 1991, č. 7, s.7.] It was only after some time and after the change if the view on the urbanistic concept when voices of Nitra’s people and professionals started to appear calling for the transformation of the urbanistic design of the Square.  Before the finishing of the sloping pylon which was to give the final look of the Square, they expressed the need of its removing, which was approved by the council of the City National Committee at the beginning of 1991. However, a few months later the same committee permitted the finishing of the Square according to the original design, because at that time it “was impossible to obtain financial sources needed for the new design and transformation of the Square” [Libant, Vladimír: Ako ďalej s Leninovým námestím, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. XIV., jún 1990, č. 6, s. 7]. Despite this decision the efforts of transformation of the Square did not die down. In 1991 Stanislav Babčan, the main architect of the city, said about the new adaptation of the Square: “The expected return to the original compact forms of spaces is considered in the historical part which is affected the most by the destructive interventions, mainly in Svätopluk Square, Mostná St., Paláriková St.,  Gudernova St. and Na Vŕšku. (…) The theatre in Svätopluk Sq. is needed to be incorporated into the surrounding built-up area in order to change its solitaire character. The space of the Square with all its dispositions is necessary to complete by further building. The Square must be given back the space in such extent for it to fulfil its social function.” [Babčan, Stanislav: Historické zosúladiť s moderným, in: Nitra, roč. XV., 1991, č. 9, s. 1-2.]. In 2009 the city of Nitra announced the international competition for the completing of the Square. 

 

 

Literature, Sources:

Nemecké a maďarské divadlo v Nitre, in: Štefko, Vladimír: Divadelná Nitra, Obzor Bratislava 1989, [online], [7.7.2010], dostupné na internete  http://www.nitra-slovensko.eu/16.-19.-storocie-v-nitre/nemecke-a-madarske-divadlo-v-nitre.html?Itemid=48

(rs): Dnes hovoríme o Nitre blízkej budúcnosti (rozhovor s prom. geol. Jozefom Belákom, vedúcim odboru územného plánovania  a architektúry MsNV), in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. 1, August 1977, s.14-15, 25.

Autor neuvedený: Nitra dostane nové divadlo. Moderný stánok umenia  a zábavy, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. 1, December 1977, s.12-13.

Čermáň, R.: Rastie divadlo AB, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. VII., 1983, č.9, s.15. 

Takáč, Pavol: 100 rokov mestského divadla, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. VII., 1983, č. 12, s.24-25. 

-rg-: Hostinec u zlatého jeleňa, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. II., február 1978, s.21-22.

-rg-: Skôr ako postavili radnicu, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. II., február 1978, s. 20-21.

-sa-: Dnes hovoríme o urbanistickom formovaní mesta (rozhovor s vedúcim odboru územného plánovania a architektúry MsNV Ing. arch. Dušanom Mikulášom),  in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. II., jún 1978, č.6, s. 5-7.

Dubravický, Jozef: Výstavba Nitry a jej perspektívy, in:  Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. II., august 1978, č.8,  s. 12-15.

Autor neuvedený (Dubravický, Jozef): Výstavba Nitry a jej perspektívy, in:  Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. II., október 1978, č.10,  s. 14-16.

Dubravický, Jozef: Výstavba Nitry a jej perspektívy, in:  Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. II., november 1978, č.11,  s. 20.

(rs): Dnes hovoríme o rozvoji nášho mesta, in:  Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. II., december 1978, č.12,  s. 5-7.

Dubravický, Jozef: Výstavba Nitry a jej perspektívy, in:  Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. III., August 1979, č.8,  s. 8-9.

(rč): Dnes hovoríme o budovaní občianskych zariadení, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. IV., Január 1980, č.1, s.5-7.

Autor neuvedený: Kronika roku 1979, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. IV., Január 1980, č.1, s.10,11,15.

Čermáň, R.: Dvojnásobné jubileum divadla, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. IV., február 1980, č.2, s. 11.

Takáč, Pavol: Stará pošta, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. IV., jún 1980, č.6, s. 25.

Ferus, Viktor: Interiéry divadla Andreja Bagara v Nitre, in: Projekt, roč. 31, 1989, č.6, s. 30-32.

Podmaková, Dagmar: Ísť, a či neísť ... ? Po návšteve novostavby nitrianskeho divadla, in: Literárny týždenník, roč. 5, 1992, č. 24, s. 15. 

Čavojský, Ladislav: Otvorený list pred otvorením divadla, in: Literárny týždenník, roč. 5, 1992, č. 24, s. 15.

Šabík, Oliver: Je to pravá architektúra, in: Literárny týždenník, roč. 5, 1992, č. 35, s. 12.

Švec, František: Tália sa snúbi s technikou, in: Technické noviny, roč. 36, 1988, č. 49, s. 16.

Čermáň, R.: Poslanci o ďalšom rozvoji mesta, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. IX., marec 1985, s. 8-10. 

Valent, Štefan: Leninovo námestie v obrazoch Maximiliana Schurmanna, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. IX., máj 1985, s. 33-35.

Čermáň, R.: Stavbárske leto, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. IX., Jún 1985, s?.

Valek, Ján: Mesto pod Zoborom, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. IX., Jún 1985, s. 14-15.

Čermáň, R.: V prvom dejstve, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. IX., august 1985, s.16-17.

Čermáň, R.: Potrebujú  robotné ruky, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. X., Január 1986, s. 7-8.

Kochanský, Štefan: Ďalej zveľadíme naše mesto, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. X, Marec 1986, č. 3, s. 5-6.

Podhradská, Erika (hlavná architektka mesta Nitry): Nová tvár námestia, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. X., Máj 1986, č.5, s.10-11.

Čermáň, R.: Nádherný stánok Tálie, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. XI., Júl 1987, č.7, s?

(rč): Opona pre nové divadlo, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. XI., Júl 1987, č.7, s. 40.

(mat.): Divadelné námestie, in:  Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. XII., Január 1988, č.1, s. 9.

Podhradská, Erika: Prestavba CMZ, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. XII., ?, 1988, č.?, s. 15.

Kuruc Marián, Zelenický Tibor: Vdýchneme život a krásu historickému jadru mesta?, in:  Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. XIII., Marec 1989, č.3, s. 5-7.

Čermáň, R.: Pylón na námestí, in:  Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. XIII., December 1989, č.12, s. 10-11.

(rč): Výstavka projektov, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. XIV., apríl 1990, č.4, s. 16-17.

Libant, Vladimír: Ako ďalej s Leninovým námestím, in: Život a kultúra mesta Nitry, roč. XIV., jún 1990, č.6, s. 7.

Valent, Štefan: Námestie v obrazoch Maximiliána Schurmana, in: Nitra, roč. XVI., máj 1992, s. 27-28.

-OK-: Clona okolo nového divadla sa pomaly rozplíva, in: Nitra, roč. XIV., č.8, 1992, s.6.

OS.: Zdvihla sa nová opona, in: Nitra, roč. XVI., 1992, č.11, s. 8-9.

Verešová, Iveta: Nová divadelná sezóna DAB začala, in:  Nitra, roč. XVI., 1992, č.11, s. 10-11.

(mat): Reštrikcia svojpomocnej výstavby, in: Nitra, roč. XIV., 1990, č.10, s. 9.

(vd.): Riešenie centrálnej mestskej zóny, in: Nitra, roč. XIV., 1990, č. 12, s.2, 18.

Podhradská, Erika: Dostavba Svätoplukovho námestia, in: Nitra, roč. XIV., 1990, č. 12, s.5.

(rsk): Po 10 rokoch výstavby, in: Nitra, roč. XV., 1991,č.3, s.10.

Kárová, Dana: Odložili Májovú divadelnú Nitru, in: Nitra, roč. XV., 1991, č.5, s.12.

Redakcia: Poznáte budúcu podobu Svätoplukovho námestia?, in: Nitra, roč. XV., 1991, č.7, s.7.

Babčan, Stanislav: Historické zosúladiť s moderným, in: Nitra, roč. XV., 1991, č.9, s.1-2.

Bečková, Ľudmila: Nitra-aká si?, in: Nitra, roč. XV., 1991, č.11, s. 10.

Kronika mesta Nitra 1971-1974, zväzok VII., (jazykovo spracovali, graficky upravili  a vytlačili Pavol Sika a Ladislav Ševella), Nitra 1999, Archív Mestského úradu v Nitre

Kronika mesta Nitra 1975-1979, zväzok VIII., (jazykovo spracovali, graficky upravili  a vytlačili Pavol Sika a Ladislav Ševella), Nitra 2000, Archív Mestského úradu v Nitre

 

 

Author: Viera Dlhánová

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

fiveplustwo=