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(Národní divadlo), a leading Czechoslovak theater; one of the centers of national culture. It opened in Prague in 1883. The construction of the theater was financed by contributions from the Czechoslovak people that were collected in the name of the Czech people’s struggle against national oppression.
The National Theater consists of three companies (opera, ballet, drama) and three separate auditoriums that have acquired independent names: the National Theater proper, where opera, ballet, and dramatic productions are staged; the B. Smetana Theater, where only opera and ballet are performed; and the J. K. Tyl Theater, which is basically for drama productions.
Outstanding contributors to the work of the National Theater have included the conductors K. Kovařovic, O. Ostrčil, V. Talich, O. Jeremiáŝ, J. čalabala, and J. Krombholc; the balletmasters R. Remislavskij, J. Tenčik, S. Machov, I. Psota, and L. Ogoun; the directors J. Kvapil, J. Honzl, J. Prucha, Zd. Štĕpánek, I. Márčalek, and V. Vejrazka; and the set designer J. Svoboda.
In 1955, the theater’s opera company and, in 1967, its dramatic company toured the USSR.