President-elect Petr Pavel with his wife Eva at the premiere of Ladislav Stroupežnický's production Our Furious at the National Theatre, March 2, 2023, Prague.
Prague – President-elect Petr Pavel came to the premiere of the production Our Furious at the National Theater this evening. Because he watched the performance in the historic building of the first Czech stage even before his inauguration, he did not sit in the presidential box and his visit was not accompanied by other ceremonies that belong to the head of state for such an occasion. Apart from Václav Havel, the other two post-apocalyptic presidents did not go to the National Theatre.
Photogallery: President-elect Petr Pavel
Petr Pavel entered the theater today through the main entrance, through which all the audience come. Together with his wife, he was welcomed by the Director General of the National Theater Jan Burian. For the president, there is a separate entrance in the historic building of the National Theater – a carriage entrance, a separate ceremonial staircase and the entire imperial tract – a ladies' lounge, a men's lounge, a separate bar in the antechamber. In the auditorium directly above the stage is the ceremonial presidential box.
“The arrival of the president in the auditorium is announced before the start of the performance with festive fanfare from the Libuše opera. It may be followed by the national anthem, according to custom. The presidential standard may be placed from the box,” ND spokesman Tomáš Staněk told ČTK. Such honors will possibly belong to Pavlo after his inauguration as head of state.
Staněk reminded that invitations to the president's office go to every premiere and gala concerts on the occasion of important holidays. We haven't enjoyed the visit of acting presidents to the National Theater productions in recent years, he added. ND provided ČTK with an overview of the visits of the presidents of the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia since the year of its establishment. However, he states that there was no comprehensive record of presidential visits to ND. They are documented, among other things, by photographs from the ČTK archive. The overview is therefore not complete for any of the presidents.
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk first visited the historical building of the ND as president on December 22, 1918, Libuše was played in honor of the presence of the first president of the Czechoslovak Republic. During his mandate, Masaryk visited ND ten times. ND has detailed records of Edvard Beneš's visits, there are over four dozen of them for both presidential terms. The first was on January 8, 1936 Prodaná věsta, a gala performance in honor of the newly elected president.
Emil Hácha also had a gala performance in his honor in December 1938. Then, for example, he took part in the production of Orpheus and Eurydice “in honor of the 51st birthday of the Leader and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler” in 1940, according to the ND archive, and in the same year also in Prodáne věsty performed in honor of the visit of Reich Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels.
On October 28, 1948, Klement Gottwald visited the performance of Libuš on the 30th anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic. Among Gottwald's seven recorded visits, in addition to the four productions of the Bartered Bride, there is also the participation in the ceremonial meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Czech Republic on February 24, 1949.
Antonín Zápotocký has eight visits documented in the ND archives, the first of which dates from 1950 to the premiere of his own play Vstanou novi bovjníci, where he came as Prime Minister as well as to the celebratory evening for the 30th anniversary of the Communist Party in 1951. Antonín Novotný was in the ND twice on the Bartered Bride and once on The Story of a Real Man, i.e. a play based on the novel by the Soviet author Boris Polevý, who tried to create an image of the ideal Soviet hero in it. Ludvík Svoboda was in the ND only twice, in the case of the last communist president Gustáv Husák, the ND records three visits, the first was in 1980 on the occasion of a festive gathering for the 110th anniversary of the birth of V. I. Lenin.
Václav Havel went to the first Czech the stage more often, the first time was on January 1, 1990, at the inauguration of Libuš in his honor. ND records his 13 visits, including a private event, which was his farewell to the post of president on January 30, 2003. In May 2004, he was a private author in the production of Temptation.
According to the records of the ND during his two terms of office, Václav Klaus only attended the celebratory evening in 2004 on the occasion of the Czech Republic's admission to the EU, according to the ND, Miloš Zeman did not visit for ten during the years of his performance as president, the first Czech scene not once.