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.
The Prague composer of Jewish descent, Hans Krása, wrote Brundibár using Adolf Hoffmeister’s libreto as early as 1938. Sadly however, the opera only became famous once it premiered in Terezín on September 23rd 1943. Krása himself studied the opera with small jewish children after being deported to Terezín. Here it was performed more than 50 times.
Three new versions of Bedřich Smetana’s opera Libuše are being
performed in the Czech Republic in the near future in connection with next
month’s centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia, Novinky.cz
reported on Thursday.
The first of the productions will be performed by the opera of the National Theatre in Brno at the city’s Central European Exhibition Centre on Friday.
The second will premiere at Prague’s National Theatre at the end of next week and the third will get its first airing at the Theatre of North Bohemia in Ústí nad Labem on September 28.
Ninety years ago to this day, on the 12th of August, 1928, Leoš Janáček, one of the most significant Czech composers, died in a hospital in Ostrava. He was brought there from his native Hukvaldy in North Moravia, where he was spending his holidays. The native region was a major inspiration for Janáček. He was interested not only in folk songs, but he also heard musical motives in the melody of the local dialect.
An annual international opera festival celebrating the works of Bedřich Smetana – perhaps the most famous Czech composers of all time – kicks off on Thursday in the eastern Bohemian town of his birth. Now in its 60th year, the "Smetana’s Litomyšl" festival is a paradise for classical music lovers but also features everything from jazz to folk.