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Právo: Prague State Opera to be closed over repairs in 2016-18

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Prague, Sept 30 (CTK) – The State Opera in Prague will be closed from July 2016 until 2018 to undergo an extensive reconstruction, daily Pravo writes yesterday, adding that the Culture Ministry has released 715 million crowns for the project whose costs will only be known after the tender is completed.
Originally, it was considered to reconstruct both the historical building of 1888 and the modern backstage building without closing the theatre.
“The extent of necessary repairs has confirmed that the (closure) is the sole correct solution. Any other one would be financially more intensive and more complex from the point of view of operation,” Jan Burian, director of the National Theatre of which the State Opera is a part, said.
Pravo quotes Culture Minister Daniel Herman as saying that “many elements are already beyond their service life. This means that not only the audiences’ comfort, but also the safety of those who work here is at stake.”
The list of repairs to be made is a thick volume that relates to big wholes as well as details, such as gilded mirrors in boxes or the removing of lights whose style is not in harmony with the house which was built by the leading Vienna firm Fellner and Helmer in 1886-88 and which is considered one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe, Pravo writes.
The building badly needs new wiring and piping, stabilisation of the revolving stage and adjustments to the orchestra pit, cloakrooms and rehearsal rooms, Pravo writes.
It writes that the stucco decorations, ceiling frescoes and other decorative elements will also be repaired. The replacement of seats in the auditorium will not reduce the capacity of around 1100, Pravo writes.
Both the historical building as well as the backstage house built after the design of Czech architect Karel Prager at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s are subject to heritage protection, Pravo writes.
It writes that during the two-year closure, the State Opera will give guest performances on other Prague stages and also abroad.
($1=24.286 crowns)

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