2015

Interior of the Latvian National Opera House

Latvian National Opera and Ballet

The Latvian National Opera House is home to both the Latvian National Opera and the Latvian National Ballet. In the course of a season that runs from September to June the Latvian National Opera and Ballet performs more than 200 performances, staging on average six new productions every season of both opera and ballet. The Latvian National Opera and Ballet today is a repertoire theatre.

The Great Hall
When architects Otto Dietze and Johann Daniel Felsko redesigned the centre of Riga in 1856, they chose one of the most exposed and significant spots in town for the new theatre: it was to be erected near the city's canal, on the grounds of the former bastion of the city's fortifications. In 1860, the design by architect Ludwig Bohnstedt was deemed the best of all for Riga's new theatre. The building was opened in 1863. The great fire of 1882 destroyed the major part of the building. Riga's chief architect Reinholds Schmaeling was in charge of the reconstruction Project which strictly followed Bohnstedt's original design. The reconstruction, along with several improvements, was completed in 1887.

Several small-scale renovations of the interior, new lighting equipment for the stage, and a ventilation system were executed in 1957 and 1958. By the mid-1970s, however, the necessity for a complete renovation became apparent. The 19th century building did not meet the demands for more space and for technical improvement of the stage. Several years were spent on searching for the most appropriate design for the whole complex including a new annex for offices and rehearsal space.

The creative force behind the Project was architect Imants Jākobsons whose work later was continued by architect Juris Gertmanis. The reconstruction and restoration – which included the front of the house with the auditorium, the foyers, coat rooms, and the staircases – and the refurbishment of the stage began in 1990 and lasted five years during which the house was closed. The number of seats was reduced from 1200 to 933. The LNO re-opened in 1995.

The box of the Latvian State President

The box of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia

The Dress Circle
The Dress Circle of the Latvian National Opera with the late 19th century paintwork design restored during restauration
Relief portraits 
Created for the interior of the Great Hall by sculptor August Volz in 1887. There are relief portraits of Friedrich Von Schiller, Wolfgang Von Goethe, William Shakespear, Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. All of them - except Shakespear - are german speaking.

Relief portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart created for the interior of the Great Hall

Relief portrait of William Shakespear created for the interior of the Great Hall

Relief portrait of Richard Wagner created for the interior of the Great Hall

Relief portrait of Friedrich Von Schillercreated for the interior of the Great Hall

Relief portrait of Wolfgang Von Goethe created for the interior of the Great Hall

Credits: Story

Curator - Latvian National Opera and Ballet
Foto - Latvian National Opera and Ballet
Texts - Latvian National Opera and Ballet

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