Theater am Kärntnertor

Vienna, Austria

Theater am Kärntnertor

Theater am Kärntnertor or Kärntnertortheater (Carinthian Gate Theatre) was a prestigious theatre in Vienna during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Its official title was Kaiserliches und Königliches Hoftheater zu Wien (Imperial and Royal Court Theatre of Vienna).

The theatre was built in 1709 to designs by Antonio Beduzzi on a site near the former Kärntnertor, on the grounds of the present Hotel Sacher. The expenses of building the theatre were borne by the City of Vienna, and it was intended (as Eva Badura-Skoda notes) to be "frequented by the Viennese population of all classes". However, at the command of the emperor, the first performances were of Italian operas, an elite form of entertainment. In 1711, the theatre was redirected to its original purpose when it was placed under the direction of Josef Stranitzky, who put on a variety of entertainment, often embodying a German version of the Italian commedia dell'arte. The theatre was managed by Stranitzky's widow after his death.

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