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Hrvatsko narodno kazalište Osijek

Hrvatsko narodno kazalište Osijek

Croatian national theatre Osijek

Osijek has a long and rich theatre tradition. The history of Croatian National Theatre in Osijek goes far back to 1735 when the first performance in Latin was given in the Jesuitical Grammar School. In the middle of the following century there were different German theatres and theatre groups that gave their performances on the stage in Osijek.

The real and organized theater life in Osijek begins on December 7th, 1907 when the first Croatian National Theatre in Osijek was founded. This first specially designed theatre house, the oldest in inner part of Croatia opened its doors on December 31st, 1866 and the Theater is today still operating in the same building. It was designed by Karlo Klausner and it had a lot of characteristics of historicism with additional elements of Maur architecture. The baroque ground-plan of the audience was designed in the form of the horse-shoe after the Italian and Austrian theatres, and it had three levels. Croatian National Theatre in Osijek founded in 1907 was the second professional theatre in Croatia considering the continuation of the activities. At the very beginning the performances were composed only of songs, later on there were real performances and guest performances. Croatian language appeared on the stage at the same time as German language.

The theatre building was renovated for several times. After the biggest renovation and basic restoration the Theatre had its opening celebration on November 27th, 1985. In the eve of 125th anniversary the theatre building suffered severe damages from the bombing during the Homeland War, but the building was renovated until 1994 and it proudly shone during the opening ceremony on December 27th, 1994.

Its annual repertoire consists of some fifteen permanent titles preformed on the stage, but the Theater is also very active in organizing various events like:  Open Days, Days of Krleža in Osijek, New Year's Concerts, June Opera Nights, and it actively contributes to the ever-improving programme of Osijek Summer of Culture every year.

The year 2012 was a very important year in the near past of the Theatre. The play “Unterstadt” based on the novel of Ivana Šojat Kuči an author from Osijek and produced by Zlatko Sviben had its premier at the opening of Osijek Summer of Culture 2012 on June 29th and the premier in the Theater house was held on October 5th, 2012. This play was crowned by three prestigious awards: Croatian Theatre Awards for the Best Overall Play, Theatre Award for best directorial achievement and the Audience Award.