Your browser is out of date.
This site may not function properly in your current browser. Update Now
Destroyed in the 1930's, the Castle Theatre in Valtice was completely reconstructed and reopened in 2015 and now hosts concerts, operas, and behind the scenes guided tours.
© Jiří Wasserbauer

Mozart and the Valtice Castle Theatre

The reconstructed Valtice Castle Theatre is a faithful replica of palace theatres of its time, including the unique wooden stage machinery and the stage, which have been restored based on historical documents and photos, and studies of the few preserved Baroque castle theatres in Europe. Story by Lenka Beránková.

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.

Prince Alois I von Liechtenstein, by Peter Eduard Ströhling (1793)
Prince Alois I von Liechtenstein, by Peter Eduard Ströhling (1793)

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.

True to its origins, the theatre specialises in Baroque performances, with sets designed for the works of those days. – © Jiří Wasserbauer
True to its origins, the theatre specialises in Baroque performances, with sets designed for the works of those days. – © Jiří Wasserbauer

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.

Renovations of the theatre were completed in 2015 as part of the National Centre of Theatre and Dance Project. Today the building is accessible to the general public though guided tours. – ©Lenka Beránková. – © Lenka Beránková
Renovations of the theatre were completed in 2015 as part of the National Centre of Theatre and Dance Project. Today the building is accessible to the general public though guided tours. – ©Lenka Beránková. – © Lenka Beránková

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.

Contact Information

Castle Theatre - National Theatre and Dance Centre (NCDT)