World heritage alert: Janacek's opera house faces closure

World heritage alert: Janacek's opera house faces closure


norman lebrecht

October 22, 2011

Alarming news from the Czech Republic. The city of Brno has imposed a cut too far on its opera house, which may be forced to shut down.

Brno was home to Leos Janacek and its opera house staged Jenufa in January 1904 to great local acclaim. A dozen years passed before Prague agreed to take a second, heavily revised production.

It would be an act of cultural vandalism to leave Brno without an opera house. I sincerely hope the Czech politicians can see that.

Here’s the message I have received:


Dear friends,
Sorry to disturb you, but I wanted to share some information with
you as with cultural friend of Czech Republic.
The way, culture is treated nowadays, is a big issue in the whole of
Europe. Sadly it has gone really far by us in Brno. The town council
there has cut 20% of an already low budget of all culture institutions
due to poorly planned investments and the next step, as it turns out,
is the abolishment of the opera ensemble, chorus and orchestra. They
say, they will eventually take the people back after 7 month, but
there is no guarantee and everyone, who has the qualities will be
employed elsewhere by then anyway. Even if I don`t mention the
soloists, who theoretically could guest and then come back, the
orchestra and chorus are very good in there and it would be a huge
waste to damage that. It is incredible, that the 2nd biggest city in
CZ should have NO OPERA HOUSE!
Tonight we play wonderful Excursions of Mr. Brou?ek, I hope not for
last time.
There is already a petition out there possible to sign it on internet.
If you could sign it for us, we will be very pleased!
Thank you for your time and help!

Sincerely yours Tereza Merklová Kyzlinková
member of Janá?ek opera house

We have also support from Wiener Staats Oper, and from Slovak
Philharmonic Orchestra. Yesterday we made some public protest in Brno
downtown, and came there around 1000 people to sign this petition and
support us.
For Czech speaking people here are some small videos from internet,
where is described our problem in detail.
Most important is the first from briefing in theater, and the second
reaction of our politicians.


  • Přeložte mi to prosím někdo.

    primátor tohoto největšího města Brna

    BC. Roman Onderka, MBA

  • Klid.

    Píšou, že seš borec.


  • George says:

    We can all help by signing the petition and by re-posting Norman Lebrecht’s commentary on other blogs, Facebook pages, wherever opera lovers will read it. The English-language website for the petition is: