A separate Czech nation began to be built, literally, on the foundation stone of this landmark. As such, it would be nice to say that the opera, drama and ballet presented within it were the best of the best, but they're pretty inconsistent. For every brilliant interpretation of Chekhov or Dvořák, there's some tatty, musty old warhouse trundled out from the wings, trailing exhausted performers hitting their lines or notes by rote. The ballet, under the artistic direction of Petr Zuska, fares best. Still, this bedrock institution may soon improve under recently appointed director Ondřej Černý, a man of some vision. He may yet make the National matter again.