MALINOVSKÉHO NÁMĚSTÍ 1
Originally the German theatre, it was built from 1881-1882 according to a project by the Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, and was the first in Europe to be equipped with Edison's electrical lighting. In 1919 the building of the Municipal Theatre (also known later as On the Balustrades and the Janáček Theatre) was taken over by the Brno Czech National Theatre, which until then had been housed in the adapted space of a restaurant at the corner of Veveří street, and its first performance there was Janáček's Jenůfa. In the 1920s, the world premieres of Janáček's operas Káťa Kabanová (1921), The Cunning Little Vixen (1924), Šárka (1925) and The Makropulos Affair (1926) were performed here, and two years after the composer's death, his last opera From the House of the Dead (1930) was given here. Most of the performances were conducted by the then opera director and conductor, František Neumann, with the young director Ota Zítek, and Janáček was enthusiastic about the quality of the performances of his new works. In addition to his opera works, Janáček's orchestral music was also performed at the theatre, including the premiere of the rhapsody Taras Bulba. A final farewell was given to Leoš Janáček in the foyer of the Municipal Theatre on the 15th of August 1928.
There were other famous world premieres at this building, including the premiere of Bohuslav Martinů's The Miracles of Mary in 1935 and the first performance of Sergei Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet in 1938. Today the Mahen Theatre is the home of the drama ensemble of the National Theatre Brno, while the Janáček Opera and the Ballet of the National Theatre Brno have been housed in the newer building of the Janáček Theatre since 1965.
When the Municipal Theatre was handed over to the Cooperative of the National Theatre after the First World War, I was resolute that the new era should begin with an opera by Maestro Janáček. The new stall of our operatic art had to have Janáček's artistic character as its flag and watchword. Five years have passed since then and I can happily say that this flag has led us on the right path and I am certain that it will take us further towards our goal.
From an article by the conductor and director of the Opera of the National Theatre Brno, František Neumann, "Leoš Janáček and Our Theatre" (Divadelní šepty Národního divadla v Brně V, 1924/1925)