The Dvořák Prague Festival held in September offered opera buffs a special treat: a performance of the generally unknown opera King and Collier, from Dvořák’s early period which was never performed during the composer’s lifetime. Its first and last production took place in 1929 at the National Theatre. And because the opera was never recorded, its 2019 premiere in the form of a concert performance afforded the unique opportunity of hearing music by Dvořák that was entirely new to listeners.
Actor Ladislav Mrkvička and opera singer Gabriela Beňačková received
lifetime achievement awards at the Thálie theatre awards in Prague on
The Czech Theatre Academy also presented a new prize, for extraordinary contribution to the art of theatre, to Zdeněk Svěrák, who is also very famous for his screen roles. Both he and Mrkvička received standing ovations during the ceremony at the National Theatre.
Prizes were also awarded in many other categories during the annual event.
National Theatre artists, mainly opera singers, are threatening to strike if the newly appointed culture minister rejects their demand to open selection process to replace their current bosses and increase “transparency” at the institution. With some artistic licence – and apologies to Andrew Lloyd Webber – one could call this Act II of ‘The Phantom of the Czech Opera’.
The renowned Czech baritone Adam Plachetka launched his new CD on Wednesday. Called Winter Journey, the album contains his renditions of 24 poems set to music by Schubert. The opera singer also performed music from Don Giovanni to fully dressed people in bathtubs at the launch’s unusual venue – the rooftop of Prague’s Lucerna Palace. He explained all by phone.
Twelve young opera singers have advanced to the finals round of Plácido
Domingo's annual Operalia competition, now underway at the Czech
National Theatre in Prague.
The finalists, selected from 40 young singers from across the globe, will compete for prizes of up to USD 30,000 each in the final-round concert on Friday evening.
The general competition awards first, second and third prizes for male and female singers, while just two prizes are bestowed to a man and a woman in the zarzuela division.
Friday’s final-round concert will be live-streamed on medici.tv as well as via Operalia’s Facebook page, and will feature the finalists performing alongside an orchestra conducted by Domingo himself.
The Operalia World Opera Competition, founded by Plácido Domingo to
discover and honor the best young opera singers of today, is being held in
Prague for the first time.
The current edition of Operalia runs from July 21 through July 26 at the Czech National Theater and is open to the public.
Among the 40 competitors is Czech soprano Zdislava Bočková. Past winners include José Cura, Rolando Villazón, Olga Pereťatko and Sonya Yoncheva.
US opera star Renée Fleming will perform a special concert in Prague on
Tuesday celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. She will
appear at the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House with the Prague Symphony
Orchestra, conducted by Elli Jaffe.
Fleming, whose grandparents on one side were born in Prague, first sang in the Czech Republic in 1996. In 2009 she helped mark the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in a show organised by Václav Havel at which Joan Baez and Lou Reed also played.
An exhibition mapping the famous foreign productions of The Bartered Bride, perhaps the most popular Czech opera, gets underway at the Bedřich Smetana Museum in Prague this week. It traces the opera’s journey from its first production abroad, in St Petersburg, across leading opera houses all over the world.