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Split, like so many cities in Eastern European countries that were once dominated by the Soviet Union, has a rich legacy of the arts. Still state supported, professional puppet theatres, opera, ballet, music and other performing arts are all here and pretty wonderful. The handsome, yellowm turn of the century building at the end of Marmontova street is the home of the Croatian National Theatre here. It produces a full season of both original and classic opera, ballet and theatre.
From Shakespeare to Tom Stoppard, it's all here and not only is the theare itself a jewelbox of multi-tiered U shaped balconies with plush "boxes" and fabulous site lines, but the performances are highly professional and both the "stars" and the ensemble performers well-trained and serious.
The ballet is particularly excellent, with several dancers from China and Russia adding great depth to local Croatian dancers. Solo recitals are held in a private room inside the theatre and feature outstanding young perfromers--violin, piano, ensemble performances. The city's website www.visitsplit.com and other large billboards on the outside of the theatre post all the productions and schedules. Just go inside and buy a ticket. The cost is from $5 to $15.
Just before the National Theatre, a left turn off Marmontova as you walk up from the Riva, is the Split Puppet Theatre. It's the oldest in the country and has a gorgeous performing space inside an old Art-Deco era building. Despite the language barrier, the plays here, all about 40 minutes so not to tax young children whose attention span is tough to sustain, are easy to follow and the puppetry and acting is absoultely first rate.
In the Summer, the Split Summer Festival, now almost 60 years old, is a feast of outdoor performances featuring Croatian and international companies who pefform throughout the city.
The city itself also sponsors Blues, Jazz, Pop and other music festivals throughout the year as well as playing host to the Ultra Festival, one of Europe's top venues that now produces mega events around the world.