The Latvian National Opera' (LNO, Latvijas Nacionālā Opera), Riga, is the national opera of Latvia. The opera company includes the Latvian National Ballet (LNB), LNO Chorus, and LNO Orchestra. Riga already had a German-speaking theatre, which also offered opera and ballet, from 1782, and this was housed in the Riga City Theatre from 1863.
Riga already had a German-speaking theatre, which also offered opera and ballet, from 1782, and this was housed in the Riga City Theatre from 1863.
The first attempt to create a Latvian national opera was 1893, when Jēkabs Ozols' Spoku stunda ("The Ghostly Hour") was performed. The Latvian opera (Latviešu Opera) was founded in 1912 by Pāvuls Jurjāns, though almost immediately, during the First World War, the opera troupe was evacuated to Russia. In 1918, the opera restarted (Latvju Opera) led by Jāzeps Vītols, the founder of the Latvian Academy of Music. The debut performance, on January 23, 1919, was of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer. From 1944, following the occupation of Latvia by Russia, and incorporation into the Soviet Union, the Latvian National Opera became the Latvian S.S.R. State Opera and Ballet Theater. In 1990, the theater was renamed the Latvian National Opera, but almost immediately the building was closed till 1995 for renovation and the company moved to temporary premises. For the reopening in 1995, the first opera was Jānis Mediņš’ Uguns un nakts (Fire and Night).