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Radek Brzobohatý's Theatre

Václav Velvarský

alias Red Ace (1932 - 1933)
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1930 | Construction
A functionalist office building was built according to the design Václav Velvarský in 1929–1930.
(detail)1949 | opening
Conversion works were carried out here in 1949 and a theatre called the Prague Theatre of Music started to operate.
(detail)2004 | alteration
General renovation of the theatre and cafe was carried out in 2004.


Václav Velvarský |main architect
(detail)Jaroslav Fragner |architect - participant of the competition

Czech architect, painter and designer. He was a proponent of Cubism and Functionalism. He is known thanks to his work on restoration and renovation of Czech historical monuments as is Prague Castle, Bethelem chapel and  Karolinum.

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(detail)Josef Havlíček |architect - participant of the competition

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

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Karel Honzík |architect - participant of the competition
(detail)Evžen Linhart |architect - participant of the competition

He was a Czech architect and furniture designer, representative of Functionalism and Purism. One of the members of the so called Puristic four. His work proceeded from Purism and Czech modernism as a counterbalance againts widely used Ornamentalism. Later as influenced by the work of Le Cobursier, he became a representative of Functionalism.

Source: Archiweb

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Pavel Smetana |architect - participant of the competition


The private theatre bears the name of important theatre and movie actor Radek Brzobohatý (1932–2012). The theatre is located in the basement area of a functionalist office building that was built according to the design (1928) by  engineer and architect Václav Velvarský  (1894–?) for the Czech Press Agency (ČTK) in 1929–1930 by the building enterprise of Bohumil  Belada. The Velvarský’s design was preceded by an architectural design competition for the ČTK building (1927), in which a team of avant-garde architects Jaroslav Frágner – Josef Havlíček – Karel Honzík – Evžen Linhart – Pavel Smetana participated with a project that was close to realization.

The terraced house with three underground floors is arranged as a monolithic reinforced concrete frame with beam  ceilings of reinforced concrete. Roughly one third of the subsurface area is occupied by storage  facilities of the ČTK, the remaining section by the theatre. The house is composed of a street,   yard and connecting wing. The five storey structure has a sixth receding floor covered by a flat roof. The six bay  front facade is made in the style of functionalism with a continuous window in the first floor that is protruded. The house was interconnected with the neighbouring house N. 918 (arch. R. Ječný) in the 1960s. An oblong hall with a gallery in the left section of the rear wing was being made in the area of the 1st and 2nd basement in the time of building of the entire house.  It was probably a dancing hall, related to operation of a restaurant in the first basement.  Conversion works were carried out here in 1949 for the Gramophone Enterprises N.E and a theatre called the Prague Theatre of Music – Gramotón came into existence here with an auditorium capacity of 130 seats. It was established by the general manager of Gramophone Enterprises N.E Josef Háša and thus a stage came into existence that connected reproduced music and its live performing as well, popularizing presentation, dancing, actor and recitation, reversal films projection and movies. Interconnection of a theatre with  Gramophone Enterprises enabled to gather a large collection of records ( 33 000  gramophone records in 1958) and an archive. The theatre of music was directed by art director of the Gramophone Enterprises ( later  the State  Music   Publishing House  and Supraphon) Jaroslav Šeda. The theatre was united with Lyra Pragensis in 1983. Milan Friedl (1983–1991) became the director of this institution and the last director of the Theatre of Music as well.

It was played 2-4 times a day in the beginnings, specific days were often dedicated to a specific repertoire: new pieces or records were introduces on Mondays, opera pieces on Tuesdays, chamber and symphonic music on Wednesday, the theatre was reserved for lectures for university students of musical fields on Thursdays. The theatre worked with poetry and spoken word as well. An exhibition hall belonged to the theatre as well (projects with musical themes) and the so called Culture Service. The Gramophone Enterprises established its brand shop in the vicinity of the theatre.  The programmes of the Theatre of Music were run throughout the entire Czechoslovakia thanks to the Culture Service. The Gramophone Enterprises endorsed the emergence of theatres of Music in Bratislava, Ostrava (1951), Liberec (1956), Pardubice, Pilsen, in Olomouc  or in  Kroměříž.

The area of which owner is ČTK was used by a private theatre called Skelet of Pavel Trávníček by the end of the 1990s and the Theatre of Radek Brzobohatý has its seat here since 2003. A general renovation of the theatre and cafe was carried out in 2004.

The theatre is entered from an passage - a spectator descends first to the first basement through a staircase, where he reach a foyer with a cloak room and entrance into the theatre restaurant in the front wing of the building. There was originally an entrance to the gallery here but it was removed and replaced by side galleries for lighting technique. A spectator further descends from the first to the second basement, where he enters through a foyer and through one of two entrances into a raked auditorium with a classic proscenium style. The capacity of the hall is 273 seats.  


Tags: Functionalism, Interwar period


Author: Markéta Svobodová

Translator: Jan Purkert

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