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*1920 in Cáslav (CZ)—2002 in Prague.
Training at the Central School of Housing Industry in Prague. Shortly after World War II took scenography courses at the Prague Conservatory and studied architecture at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague; participated in the founding of the Grand Opera of the May 5 Theater. He became the theater´s chief stage designer; as well as collaborating with the Theatre of Satire and the Studio of the National Theatre. In 1948, he joined the staff of the National Theatre; initially as stage designer and, as of 1951, as the head of its artistic and technical operations. Until, he remained loyal to the National Theatre; in 1992, managing director of the independent Lantern Magic Theater, where he had also served as artistic director since 1973.
In the May 5 Theatre with the director Alfréd Radok he began a series of experimentations, the result of which was the founding of the Magic Lantern, the creation of the «polyekran» (multiple screens), and other audiovisual forms. During the second half of the 20th century, hardly any prominent director could be found worldwide with whom Svoboda would not have collaborated. These particular artists include A. Delcampe, J. Dexter, C.H. Drese, A. Everding, G. Friedrich, G. Strehler, L. Olivier, R. Petit, J.-C. Riber, and others. Yet he was honoured more abroad than in his home country.