Enjoy incredible displays of performance art at this cultural landmark in Ljubljana. The Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ljubljana performs an extensive repertoire of classical and modern operas, ballets and concert works. Each season it gives approximately 150 performances, both at home and abroad. Its opera and ballet ensembles and orchestra have enjoyed successful collaborations with Slovenian and artists and producers from across the world.
A varied history
The theatre building, constructed between 1890 and 1892, has been home to many different performing arts troupes throughout its history. At the turn of the 20th century it housed first the German Theatre and then the Provincial Theatre. 1918 saw the establishment of the theatre's opera and ballet ensembles and orchestra, which, after the Second World War, began to tour outside the country and receive international acclaim. The most important artistic director was the composer and conductor Mirko Polič. He enlarged the orchestra and ensemble and staged many contemporary operas, Stravinsky, Prokofiev,and Shostakovich for example and the basic German repertoire such as Wagner and Strauss.
The opera house itself is a Neo-Renaissance design by the Czech architects Jan V. Hrasky and Anton Hruby. The building is known for its adorned front façade with Ionic columns supporting a sublime tympanum above the entrance. The façade also features two niches adorned with Alojzij Gangl's allegorical statues of Tragedy and Comedy. The stone pedestals in front of the building support the busts of the Slovenian theatre artists Anton Verovšek and Ignacij Borštnik, which were sculpted by France Kralj in 1921, and the pedestal by the side of the building supports Stojan Batič's portrait sculpture of Julij Betetto.
Exciting international programmes
As the central Slovene music theater company, the SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana stages an annual season of around 150 opera and ballet performances, as well as concerts.There are some additional programmes featuring various classical and contemporary music theater works. The theater has enjoyed successful collaborations with Slovenian and international artists and producers, on works such as Faust, Don Quixote, Prince Igor and The Rhine Nymphs. Each season, the opera house prepares 3 to 5 new productions and reprises of older productions. They perform mostly 19th century Italian opera and from the Verismo period. Soloists consist mainly of Slovenian singers, although there are often foreign artists. The Ballet Company prepares standard ballet pieces, for example Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Minkus, and more recently has combined modern dance techniques with standard ballet practices. The Opera House is also an attractive venue for holding social functions, ranging from award presentations to receptions and gala dinners, which can take place on the stage.