Mozart and the Valtice Castle Theatre
The Castle Theatre in Valtice was built from May to October 1790 under the rule of Prince Alois I Joseph of Lichtenstein . The first performance took place in November 1790 to honour the visit of Emperor Leopold II. Legend tells us that Alois wanted to use his Viennese contacts and to present one of Mozart's operas for the grand opening. At the time, however, Mozart was not particularly fond of Prince Alois I's strange behaviour, and his works seemed too complicated for the Viennese court. Instead, the musical Prometheus was written for the opening.
Nevertheless, Prince Alois was still keen to feature Mozart's works performances in the theatre, with the presence of the composer himself. Prince Alois had a chateau bedroom built with a musical finish especially for the composer, and an elevated chair in a box in the Theatre that would suit Mozart's smaller structure. Nonetheless, Mozart never came to Valtice. Mozart's new sonatas did finally get played in the theatre and while Mozart's chair has not been preserved, the elevated box is still used.
In the 1930s, the theatre at Valtice castle was still relatively well preserved. Unfortunately, after the Second World War and further into the 1980s, the theatre was destroyed by various devastating interventions.
From April 2014 until June 2015, a major reconstruction and renovation of the theatre took place as part of the National Centre of Theatre and Dance Project. It is now equipped with modern technical infrastructure, a replica of the Baroque stage machinery, and its original layout has been restored. A unique stage scene has been created, which provides the opportunity to reconstruct period performances and, unlike similar theatres, its functions are not limited by heritage building restrictions.
Take a guided tour as part of the touring circuit at the Valtice Castle, and don't miss the chance to catch one of the many performances and concerts at the newly renovated theatre.