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National Theatre, Munich
Münchner Residenz, Königsbau (left) and Nationaltheater (right), photography by Joseph Albert (1860)
Nationaltheater, around 1900
stamp by Deutsche Bundespost, West-Germany, 1964)
place of Nationaltheater in the Residenz, 2007

The National Theatre Munich (German: Nationaltheater München) is an opera house in Max-Joseph-Platz, in Munich, Germany. It is the home base of the Bavarian State Opera, and the Bavarian State Ballet (Bayerisches Staatsballett).

The Bavarian State Opera also performs in the Prinzregententheater, built in the early years of the 20th Century and which is not unlike the Bayreuth Festspielhaus built to Richard Wagner's specifications, and the Cuvilliés Theatre, built in the 1750s and described by Beauvert as "a Rococo gem".

Contents

The building

The first theatre was commissioned by King Maximilian 1st of Bavaria and designed by Karl von Fischer, with the Odéon in Paris as antetype. The theatre opened in 1818 with Die Weihe by Ferdinand Fränzl, but was already destroyed by fire in 1823. It was immediately reconstructed and re-opened in 1825. This second theatre, designed by Leo von Klenze, incorporated Neo-Grec features as seen in its portico and triangular pediment.

Although somewhat modified in 1930 to create an enlarged stage area with updated equipment, the second theatre survived until Second World War bombing destroyed it in October 1943.

Based on the original plans by Karl von Fischer, the architect Gerhard Moritz Graubner recreated the original neo-classical 2100 seat theatre. Albeit somewhat enlarged and only the foyer and main staircase retaining their original look, the theatre opened on 22 November 1963 with a performance of Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

National Theatre, Interior

History

During these years, it was to see the premieres of a significant number of operas, including many by German composers. These included Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (1865); Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868); Das Rheingold (1869); and Die Walküre (1870) after which Wagner chose to built a theatre in Bayreuth and continued performances there.

During the latter part of the 19th Century, it was Richard Strauss who would make his mark on the Theatre in the city in which he was born in 1864. After accepting the position of conductor for a short time, Strauss returned to the theatre to become principal conductor from 1894 to 1898. In the pre-War period, his Friedenstag (1938) and Capriccio were premiered in Munich.

In the post-War period, the house has seen significant productions and many world premieres.

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Famous World Premieres

The list refers only to those premieres of the Bavarian State Opera staged in the Nationaltheater. The Bavarian State Opera had additional premieres also in other theatres. Also the Bavarian State Ballet had premieres in the National Theatre.

External links

Coordinates: 48°08′22″N 11°34′46″E / 48.13944°N 11.57944°E / 48.13944; 11.57944


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