Prague: National Marionettes Theater and Mozart

Prague Marionettes
Photo by oliviagiovetti

We overheard this brilliant aside from an American backpacker in a bar in Zizkov: “What the hell is up with all the puppets?”

It’s sort of a good question. Prague’s more touristy areas have marionette shops on practically every corner. The art of puppetry has been a popular form in Prague since the 17th Century. It was one of the first forms of theatre performed in Czech. Historically, the innocence of the marionettes and the naïveté of their puppeteers have allowed many censored ideas to reach the public.

The National Marionette Theatre (Zatecka 1 in Stare Mesto) performs Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni twice daily. With a theatre bar that allows you to bring your Pilsner into the performance, this Giovanni is a burlesque send-up for those who love and loathe opera alike. Sit in the front row if you don’t mind getting wet.

About the author

Growing up an avid reader of outdated guidebooks and listener of Joan Sutherland LPs, Olivia Giovetti has used her love for opera to foster her love of travel. The combination of the two has allowed her to see 99% of Europe and, living off a lavish arts income, heightened her ability to travel on the cheap. Her passport gets more play than Paris Hilton during Fleet Week. A freelance writer, her publishers include New York City Opera, Classic FM, The Laputan, and Paper Magazine.
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