Castle Theater in the 19th Century

From the end of the 18th century, the castle nobility more or less lost interest in the theatre. The large stage and auditorium evidently didn\'t fit their idea of an appropriate setting where family members and friends could play only for themselves. This was another reason that the Schwarzenbergs built another theatre at the castle Hluboká nad Vltavou in 1878.

Plan of the Český Krumlov Castle Theatre from 1879

Beginning in 1814, the theatre became the center of interest for travelling drama companies who, with of course the agreement of the castle owners, played in the theatre from time to time until its closing in 1898. Most usually, the presentation was a popular German farce. In 1864, however, an opera company from Linz performed difficult operas from Flotow, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, and Verdi. Even Czech productions were performed here, for example in 1891, local enthusiasts played three Czech one-acters. Other Czech productions sponsored by the Municipal Theatre in České Budějovice were operas in 1896, like Verdi\'s La Traviata and Smetana\'s Bartered Bride. The last renter was the drama company of Vendelín Budil from Pilsen on the 29th and 30th of May 1897 with the opera The Kiss from Smetana and Little Lord from M. Burton.

Poster of performance of the dramatic ensemble of Vendelín Budil at the, 1897, foto: Lubor Mrázek

On orders of the regional hetman in Český Krumlov, it was not permitted to perform in the castle theatre from 1898 for safety reasons. This prohibition was not always respected, however, and the theatre was used for several small events in 1903 and 1906.

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