You have never been to the opera and it never occurred to you to go to a performance. If this is so, you'd better change your mind when you are in Prague.
The city doesn't have just one opera house: there are three. The first and best-known is Narodni Divadlo ("National Theater"). Its outside balcony offers beautiful views across the Vltava River towards Prague Castle. The second is Stavovske Divadlo ("Estates Theater"), which became famous for Mozart's opera Don Giovanni,which premiered in this theater in 1887. The third is Statni Divadlo ("State Opera"). This opera house's building is reminiscent of the Burgtheater in Vienna.
National Theater, Prague — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
Visit the opera, and you will enter a completely different world in which music is more important than acting or even the storyline. If you are not interested in the music, go anyway - if only to admire the opulent interior, the chandeliers in the foyer and the pictures of famous composers in the gallery.
Italian, French and Czech operas are on the repertoire of all three theaters, but since you are in Prague, you might as well go to an opera by a Czech composer. Look out for these names: Leos Janacek, Bedrich Smetana and Antonin Dvorak.
State Opera, Prague — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
Whether you are a first-time or a regular opera goer, you are sure to be enchanted by Dvorak's opera Rusalka ("Mermaid"). It is an age-old story with a little twist. The mermaid gives her voice to a wicked witch in exchange for a chance to win the human prince she loves. Unlike many other versions of this story, Rusalka ends in tragedy. She takes her lover into the water with her and ends his life with a kiss.
Tickets for all three theaters can be purchased online, or you can buy them in person from the box office at the theater. Prices are very reasonable and range from CZK 50 to 1400 ($2 to $50).
Narodni Divadlo, Narodni Trida 2, metro station Narodni Trida, tram 6,9,18, 22 en 23
Stavovske Divadlo, Ovacny trh 6, metro station Mustek
Statni Divadlo, Legerova 75, metro station Muzeum, tram 11