The National Theatre to present the 2018/2019 theatre season

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National Theatre artistic companies are preparing 19 premieres for the 136th theatre season. Fifty productions are to remain in the repertoire and the First Stage offers 41 subscription groups.

National Theatre Ballet is preparing three premieres for the upcoming season. The first one – Kylián – is supposed to be a celebration of Czech statehood and the National Theatre will present it on 10th October at the occasion of 100 years from the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Jiří Kylián, the outstanding Czech choreographer, selected four of his works the National Theatre will stage to pay honor to the jubilee – Symphony of Psalms, Bella Figura, Petit Mort, and Six Dances. The second premiere of the National Theatre Ballet will be The Swan Lake with John Cranko’s choreography and the third one is the production of The Trial by Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti, which is inspired by Franz Kafka’s famous novel.

Czech authors will dominate the upcoming season in drama. However, audiences will not wait to see a production by a famous foreign director, said Daniel Špinar, the Drama Artistic Director. He wants to focus on Czech authors, who, according to him, deserve the cooperation with the National Theatre.

It will be the first time Erben’s Bouquet is going to be staged in the National Theatre with the Skutr directors. Director Jan Mikulášek, the author of successful performances of The Cremator and Marysha, is preparing the adaptation of Jáchym Topol’s Nightwork. Another dramatization of a literary work directed by Špinar is the novel called Downfall of the Heart by Austrian writer and poet Stefan Zweig. Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov will arrive at the Prague Crossroads festival and will present himself as an actor.

Laterna magika will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its foundation with the production inspired by Trnka’s Garden. Opera fans can look forward to seven premieres and several concerts. The season is going to open on 14th September with the new production of Libuše directed by the National Theatre director Jan Burian in association with his predecessor Daniel Dvořák and the ex-director of National Theatre Ballet Petr Zuska.

The National Theatre sold over half a million tickets for its performances on their stages and earned 253 million CZK. There were 52,598 subscriptions sold for 22.7 million CZK, which is by 1.8 million CZK and 9 % more than last year. However, the overall number of sold tickets is about 40,000 less than in 2016 and the revenues dropped by 20 million CZK, which the National Theatre management sees as the result of closing the State Opera building.

The National Theatre budget is mostly comprised of state subsidies, which were 710.5 million CZK in 2016, 742 million CZK in 2017, with 806 million CZK approved for this year including the pay rise. The National Theatre revenues equals the sum, which is about half the state subsidy.

The average attendance at local stages was 76 % last year and 78 % in the year before last, before closing the Opera.

The economic profit of the National Theare was over 14 million last year. The main event of 2017 was the reconstruction of the State Opera for more than 1 billion CZK, which should finish next year. Some parts of the premises at Anenské náměstí with facilities for drama and a music archive are under reconstruction as well. The feasibility study is made for the reconstruction of the New Scene and the building we all know as Thermos; the plan for building the service center of the National Theatre in Karlín is being prepared.

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