The first permanent Czech theatre in Brno
A venue for operas, operettas, and dramas in Czech
Where Její pastorkyňa (Jenůfa) was first performed
This building was once located on Žerotín Square
The first permanent Czech theatre in Brno found its home on the corner of what is now Žerotínovo náměstí (Žerotín Square) and Veveří Street on the site of the former U Marovských restaurant and dance hall. The Czech National Theatre Brno Cooperative purchased the building in 1883, and it was ceremoniously opened in late 1884. Even though the remodelled restaurant was not an ideal solution, it still marked a crucial turning point for the Czech minority living in Brno. Operas, operettas, and dramas were performed here in Czech, and preference was given to works by Czech authors.
Janáček frequently attended these performances. He published reviews and even became a member of the cooperative which had founded the theatre. In 1894, he conducted the premiere of his opera Počátek Románu (The Beginning of a Romance) here, but the modest theatre made its mark on history on 21 January 1904, when it presented the first performance of Její pastorkyňa (Jenůfa).
During World War II, the building was damaged. Despite repairs, the effects of the bombing were still very evident. In 1952, a part of the building was torn down and the rest was used as a rehearsal space. In December 1973, the building was completely demolished and replaced by what is now called Bílý dům (the White House). The theatre, originally intended as a temporary solution, served the needs of the Brno National Theatre for all of 68 seasons. A new theatre was not built in Brno until 1965, when Janáčkovo divadlo (the Janáček Theatre) was completed, today the seat of the opera and ballet ensembles of the National Theatre Brno.
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Janáček came here for musical instruments and inspiration