Jindřichův Hradec counts the work of prominent personalities of the world of music to its oldest musical tradition. It is necessary to name one of the leading Baroque poets and composers, a native of Jindřichův Hradec, Adam Michna of Otradovice, as well as the work of our leading composers Bedřich Smetana or Vítězslav Novák, who studied at the local secondary grammar school. The first opera sung in Czech, “Der Freischütz” by Weber, was staged in Jindřichův Hradec on the 26th of March 1855. That was a time of the intensified national awareness and a time when musical ensembles, active as late as the 1960s, came into being.
The year 1950 can rightly be considered as the time that the tradition of organising opera performances came into being. The three local musical ensembles: Smetana, Slávy dcera and Hudební jednota (Musical Unity) prepared and performed, under the young conductor Miloš Paul, Bizet’s Carmen and Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Smetana’s Dalibor in 1951 was the first performance played in the 3rd courtyard of the castle and chateau of Jindřichův Hradec.
Between 1950 and 1965, the golden era of the “Opera of Jindřichův Hradec“, as this united amateur musical ensemble was called, staged over a hundred opera works. The high artistic quality of the performances was guaranteed by regular renowned artists of the National Theatre in the cast. They were, for instance, Marie Podvalová, Karel Berman, Teodor Šrubař, Eduard Haken or the well-known Czech actor and a native of Jindřichův Hradec, Zdeněk Kryzánek.
The nice tradition of staging opera performances directly inside the castle and chateau was continued first by the South Bohemian Theatre in České Budějovice in the late 1990s and later by the National Theatre in 2004 again. Since 2004, we have had the opportunity to see the operas The Jacobin, The Marriage of Figaro, Rusalka, Rigoletto, La Traviata.