The Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz (State Theatre on Gärtnerplatz square) – or Gärtnerplatztheater, as many locals call it for short – is Munich’s main venue for operas, operettas and musical theatre.
When the plans for the Gärtnerplatztheater were approved in 1864, King Ludwig II fulfilled the dream his subjects had of a "people's theatre". The project was funded by a private joint-stock company.
The architect Franz Michael Reiffenstuel based his design for the building at the Gärtnerplatz on the classical Nationaltheater on Max-Joseph-Platz. Not long after construction began, King Ludwig II was forced to take over the building due to financial difficulties and went on to make it the third Bavarian royal theatre in 1872.
The theatre has undergone multiple renovations and makeovers over the years. After the Second World War, the Gärtnerplatztheater was unable to host any performances until 1948 as a result of damage caused during the bombing.
Between May 2012 and October 2017, the building underwent a general refurbishment; though this did not mean that visitors had to miss out on any performances by the company. During this period, performances were held at other Munich venues, such as the Cuvilliés Theatre and Prinzregententheater (Prince Regent’s Theatre).
Ever since it first opened, the Gärtnerplatztheater has been dedicated primarily to the art of musical folk theatre, focussing on operettas and musical comedies. Even today, the theatre is regarded as one of Munich’s number one venues for opera, operetta, musicals and dance.
After the Nationaltheater, which is home to the Bavarian state opera, the Gärtnerplatztheater is the city’s second opera house.