National Theatre

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National Theatre ( 640x480 )
The National Theatre (Nationaltheatre) is an opera house, home base of the Bavarian State Opera (Bayerische Staatsoper) located on Max-Joseph-Platz in the central Munich. It describes itself as the world’s busiest opera and ballet company, that offers shows nearly every night. It has been in existence since 1653. The Company performs also in the Prinzregententheater (built in the early years of the 20th century) and the Cuvillies Theatre (built in 1750s, called a Rococo gem).

The first theatre was commissioned by King Maximilian I. It was built under the influence of the Théatre de l'Odéon in Paris and opened in 1818 and the first performance was “Die Weihe” by Ferdinant Franzl. However, this building was soon destroyed by fire (in 1823). It had to be reconstructed.

The second theatre was designed by Karl von Fischer and opened in 1825. He incorporated mainly neo-Greek features that can be seen in its portico and triangular pediment. After the reopening, there were many premiers performed in the opera, for example Wagner’s 'Tristan und Isolde' (1865); 'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg' (1968); 'Das Rheingold' (1869); and 'Die Walküre' (1870).

During he late 19th century, as well as in the pre-war years Richard Strauss became the main conductor and his 'Friedenstag' (1938) and 'Capriccio' were premiered here. The theatre was damaged again, this time during the bombing of Munich during the World War II, in October 1943.

After war the building was reconstructed again, according the original plans of Karl von Fisher by the architect Gerhardt Graaubner. He recreated and somewhat enlarged the original neo-Classical 2100 seat theatre. Exactly the same look as before had just the foyer and the staircase. The opening performance was Wagner‘s 'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg' on 22 November 1963.

The Munich Opera Festival has been held in the building every summer since 1876. It attracts enthusiasts from around the world to listen to the prestigious Bavarian State Opera and its Chorus.
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