Country: Germany (Deutschland)
Location: Schloß Friedenstein (south-western tower)
Built 1681-1683 as "Comödien- und Ballhaus" for Herzog Georg Friedrich I. von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg. Probably opened Apr 1681 with a pastoral dama, "Kurtzes Schäfer-Spiel". First opera: "Die geraubete Prosperina", 1682/1683. 1774 foundation of the first resident ducal German drama company, under the direction of Conrad Ekhof who formed a company heavily influential on the development of German drama. 1774-1775 auditorium extension by a second balcony, auditorium redecoration. Re-opened 2 Oct 1775 with Reichards's "Das Fest der Thalia" and Voltaire's "Zaire". Closed in 1778. 1826-1827 auditorium redecoration in neoclassical style by Italian artists. Subsequently again used as drama theatre. 1963-1968 technical renovation to the original plans, auditorium renovation to the 1775 design. Re-opened 5 Oct 1968 as "Ekhof-Theater", named in honour of the actor, theatre director and theatre scholar, Conrad Ekhof (1720-1778). Subsequently mainly used as a museum and for public lectures. 250 seats, only 176 of which can be used due to the closure of the second balcony for structural reasons. Since the 1990s, restoration of the original 1683 stage machinery that is still in use. Home to the "Ekhof-Festival", an annual summer festival of 18th century opera and music.
Reverse Text: "Gotha - Ekhoftheater - älteste vollständig erhaltene Barockbühne Deutschlands (1683)"|
Publisher: Spezial-Kunstverlag Horn, Gotha; III-9-150 / A 253-58 / 4
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