The short history of Reduta Theatre

The basis is formed by a Liechtenstein corner house, which the city purchased in 1600, establishing “a New Tavern”, later called “Grand Tavern” in it as a representative building intended for distinguished guests to the city

The present Reduta building is a result of complicated construction development that had gone on, with numerous remodelling and annexes, for several centuries. The basis is formed by a Liechtenstein corner house, which the city purchased in 1600, establishing “a New Tavern”, later called “Grand Tavern” in it as a representative building intended for distinguished guests to the city. In 1634 an adjoining house was purchased, refurbished, and connected to the existing building to form an enclosed one–floor complex, whose proportions correspond to the Reduta of today. Occasional theatre productions had been performed in the city tavern probably from as early as the 1660s but only in 1733 a separate box-type theatre with a deep perspective stage was built in the eastern wing of this complex. In 1785 and 1786 the building was reduced to ashes by a devastating fire; in the Napoleonic wars and the War of the Fourth Coalition it was laid waste to when used as an infirmary and improvised military lodging. Many leading contemporary architects and artists, including members of the famed family of Italian painters, designers, and stage decorators Lorenzo, Vincenzo and Antonio Sacchetti, were involved in refurbishing that followed. The era of theatre operated in Reduta’s eastern wing is linked to e.g. Emanuel Schikaneder, a librettist of Mozart’s Magic Flute and the theatre director from 1807 to 1809, or to events surrounding the year 1767, when Reduta staged the first Czech performance in Brno, The Enamorated Watchman, produced in Czech by a Baden theatre company, and when the eleven–year–old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his sister Nanerl gave a concert here. In memory of this important event, a Mozart monument by Kurt Gebauer was unveiled in front of Reduta in 2008. Following a fire that broke out here in 1870 the theatre was never restored and in the 20th century, a dance hall in the western part of the building took over its function of a theatre hall. The present architectural look of Reduta is the work of Brno studio D.R.N.H., v.o.s. – a team consisting of Antonín Novák, Petr Valenta, Radovan Smejkal, and Eduard Štěrbák. Klára Michálková and Karel Spáčil co–authored the design and Miroslav Melena collaborated on the theatre section implementation. The reconstruction of 2002 to 2005 tactfully combined modern elements with the original preserved architecture, restored the theatre hall in the eastern wing, and rendered the whole complex with its social and representative function. The reconstruction concluded with artistic ornamentation of the Mozart Hall walls, café vaults, and an artistically conceived atrium terrazzo by Petr Kvíčala.

Until 1919 Reduta was used by the Brno German theatre but from then on, it alternated regularly with the Czech National Theatre. The Czech audience had not been used to visiting Reduta very much and therefore the theatre became popular only after the end of the Second World War thanks to the then singspiel ensemble, which performed here until Reduta was closed for its alarming condition in 1993. The modern history of Reduta commenced on 1 October, 2005 with the first post–reconstruction performance – a joint project of the National Theatre Brno drama, opera, and ballet sections: Vít Zouhar’s Nights through the Day and Igor Stravinsky’ Soldier’s Tale. Today all ensembles of the National Theatre Brno perform in the building and a separate art section develops and implements Reduta’s overall concept and production.

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