On Sunday, Viktor Orbán is to attend the reopening ceremony of the Prague State Opera. Unlike the Hungarian prime minister, other leaders from neighboring countries such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, and his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki, declined the invitation.
“Instead of Chancellor Merkel, German Minister of Culture Monika Grütters will attend the reopening ceremony,” said Ministry of Culture spokeswoman Michaela Lagronová.
The general reconstruction of the historical state opera building started in March 2017 with the costs reaching 1.3 billion korunas (€52 million).
The grand reopening of the most famous opera house in the Czech Republic will take place on Jan. 5, exactly 132 years since it opened for the first time.
The reconstructed Prague State Opera has new modern rehearsal rooms and additional seats with personal subtitle equipment. The theater curtain also changed, while the ballet, orchestral or choral hall went through reconstruction.
The historic building, considered one of Europe’s most beautiful opera houses, was built in 1888, then called the New German Theater. The last complex reconstruction of the building took place in the late 1960s.
Guests attending the reopening ceremony will see a concert titled Transformations of the State Opera in Time (1888-2018) directed by Alice Nellis with a musical accompaniment conducted by German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens.