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Roškot´s Theatre

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Roškot´s Theatre

Theatre is always conscience of our age. The one in Ústí nad Orlicí is no exception. Apart from strong singing and musical traditions, the town is also known for the theatre tradition, whose origin dates back to 1836. Its beginnings were rather minimalistic. All the greater was the desire to build an own theatre building.

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Hence, the supporters of this idea started to systematically work in order to implement their plans. In 1896, the amateur theatre society called Vicena was founded, which consequently led to the establishment of another organisation called Club for the Support of the Theatre Building in June 1919. Its primary task was to collect financial resources. Ten years later, the negotiations for the possibility of inviting tender for the architectonic plans of the theatre building were triggered off. Professor ThDr. PhDr. Josef Cibulka, the prominent historian of arts, the scientist known all around Europe and what is more, the local native, was asked for cooperation in this affair, too.

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It was he who recommended to invite tender and hence decide, who would be to design the theatre building – whether the local builder Jaroslav Radechovský or the Prague architect Kamil Roškot. Why was this person actually mentioned? Cibulka would be often present at the Prague Castle, where he met Kamil Roškot during the adjustment of the tombs of the Bohemians kings in the St. Vitus Cathedralʼs crypt. Roškot was the scholar of the professor Jan Kotěra. In spite of expertsʼ explicitly positive evaluation of Roškotʼs project, there were still lengthy and exhausting negotiations to take place. It was not easy at all to put this unconventional idea through in Ústí. Thanks to Cibulkaʼs commitment the decision to give way to Roškotʼs idea was met on 4 November 1934. The foundation stone was laid on 5 July 1935 and the grand opening of the theatre took place on 26 September 1936. The ceremony was part of the 100th anniversary of the amateur theatre and the 40th anniversary of the Vicena club. On this occassion, Bedřich Smetanaʼs opera The Secret was staged. In 1979, the Roškotʼs Theatre was declared cultural monument of the Czechoslovak republic.

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Roškot gained his exceptional status within the Czech modern architecture exactly thanks to the theatre building in Ústí and consequently to the construction of the State Czechoslovak Pavillon on the Worldʼs Fair exhibition in New York (1938 – 1939).

 

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