For three years, Prague has been lacking its most amazing ball event, the Opera Ball. The renovations of the historical building are at fault. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to wear our luxury gowns next year either, but the building itself can look forward to a new coat! The repairs are finally coming to an end and the builders promise a whole new experience for visitors.
When it comes to repair works, they’re not always done the same way. The last reconstruction took place in the seventies, and according to the director of the National Theater, Jan Burian, it didn’t end up too well.
The current reconstruction revealed covered paintings and frescoes. This might be one of the reasons why it is getting a bit too expensive. Nobody has calculated the total price yet, but it has already exceeded a billion Crowns! Perhaps that is why the National Theater allowed the public to enter the premises of the building. If you haven't had the chance to check it out yet, you're probably wondering what it looks like, expecting abundant luxury in the form of rich carpets and shiny ornaments - but your imagination is miles away from the reality.
You can tell at the first glance that the Opera is still under construction, covered in dust and grime. It makes you think the workers will never be finished with this. The biggest shock is the giant hole in the ground behind the curtain - the turntable. The most important part of Opera.
“It is going to be the most unique piece of machinery in the Czech Republic. Not only will it be turning around while carrying decorations, but it will also be able to lift them, which can even be achieved by tilting the individual tables,” promises Jan Burian, the director of the National Theater.
The reason for this new contraption? In the course of the construction, it turned out that if the old turntable were to be simply refurbished, it wouldn’t provide better opportunities for the theater, and more importantly no one could ever restore it again. A part of the theater would have to be torn down.
This trademark of the National Opera will take your breath away! The luxurious golden chandelier had originally been supposed to be disassembled and transported, but experts discovered that it would have been necessary to cut it into pieces. In the end, it was reconstructed on the spot. Now it is covered with plastic, so that it wouldn’t be collecting dust or get damaged, but it is so enormous, seemingly hanging on a thread, that you feel like it’s going to fall on your head any minute.
“We have removed the twenty-one speakers that used to be placed on the chandelier and replaced them with two significantly more powerful ones. They serve to simulate surround sound,” explained Hochtief spokesman Michal Talián, while assuring the visitors that everything was perfectly safe.
The grand opening will take place next year on January 5, featuring a spectacular concert, and by June the audience will be able to start attending individual performances as they gradually get renewed. Full day-to-day operation, with the exception of Mondays, will begin in September 2020.