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Latvian National Opera

Ludwig Bohnstedt

alias Sowjetische Oper Lettlands (1919-1940), Deutches Theater (untill 1914), Erstes Staatstheater (1914-1919)
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1863 | construction
The building was built in 1860 - 1863 according to the design by architect Ludwig Bohnstedt.
(detail)1892 | reconstruction
The great fire of 1882 destroyed the major part of the building. Riga's chief architect Reinholds Schmaeling was in charge of the reconstruction Project which strictly followed Bohnstedt's original design. The reconstruction, along with several improvements, was completed in 1887.
(detail)90. 's 20. century | reconstruction
reconstruction was designed by architect Imants Jākobsons whose work later was continued by architect Juris Gertmanis. The reconstruction and restoration – which included the front of the house with the auditorium, the foyers, coat rooms, and the staircases – and the refurbishment of the stage began in 1990 and lasted five years during which the house was closed. The number of seats was reduced from 1200 to 933. The LNO re-opened in 1995.


Ludwig Bohnstedt |main architect
Indra Grietana |architect


When the centre of Riga was rebuilt in 1856, one of the most significant locations was chosen to build a new theatre: near the canal, on the site of the former city fortifications. In 1860, a design in the Greek classical style by Ludwig Bohnstedt was selected, and the theatre opened in 1863. Its façade is decorated with an ionic portico and a group of allegoric figures. As the composer Richard Wagner worked in Riga from 1837 to 1839, a bas-relief depicting his figure is located above the stage and it is illuminated during performances of his operas. Today, the building is the headquarters of both the Latvian National Opera and the Latvian National Ballet. Each summer, the Riga Opera Festival becomes the climax of the season. 

Latvijas Nacionālā Opera • Aspazijas bulvāris 3 • LV-1050 Riga • Latvia • Tel.: +371 6707 3820, +371 2563 5833 • education(at)opera(dot)lv • www.opera.lv

Visits: see theatre website for dates and times

Tourist information
Tel.: +371 6703 7900



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