The opera singer Gabriela Beňačková has been inducted into a new Hall of
Fame at the National Theatre in Prague on Thursday.
Beňačková, who is 70 years old, is the third person honoured in this way. She was preceeded by actor Vlasta Charmostová and ballet dancer Vlastimil Harapes.
Beňačková specializes in the music of her compatriots, notably Bedřich Smetana and Leoš Janáček and is considered to be one of the greatest 'Jenůfa's' in Janáček's opera of the same name.
Speaking at Thursday’s induction ceremony, the head of the national Theathre Jan Burian highlighted Beňačková’s succesfull international career.
The Czech Republic on Thursday marked the 602nd anniversary of the burning at stake of reformer priest Jan Hus with numerous events highlighting his legacy. Masses were celebrated around the country, among others in Jan Hus’ birthplace Husinec and at Bethlehem chapel in Prague, where the reformer priest preached. The chapel had a new bell cast in Hus’ memory on the 600th anniversary of his martyr’s death at the stake and a special installation was unveiled on the side wall of the chapel –a sign reading For the Truth which can only be seen in sunny weather –a reminder of the fact that the truth is sometimes hidden. The events linked to the anniversary included theatre performances, debates, music concerts and film screenings dedicated to the reformer priest.
After a pause of ten years, the Forman brothers have returned to Prague with a new show called Deadtown, inspired by the Wild West. The Belgian minister of culture hailed the performance, saying it was better than anything she had seen at the Cannes film festival this year. With the Czech premiere of Deadtown the Forman brothers have also launched their new festival called Arena, which will run at Prague’s Smíchov embankment until Sunday.
In the nine days from 26 May to 3 June Prague will be treated to its very own version of the Edinburgh Fringe. Audiences will have over 230 English-language performances to choose from at various venues around the historic Malá Strana district. Shows come from a huge variety of countries and, in the experimental spirit of fringe, they vary from slapstick comedy to soul-searching reflections on our troubled times. David Vaughan spoke to the festival’s founder and director, Steve Gove.
The respected Czech film & theatre actor and director Jiří Ornest died on Sunday at the age of 70. The news was confirmed by his wife Daniela Kolářová. Mr Ornest worked for more than 20 years at the E.F. Burian Theatre and later, after 1991, at Prague's Theatre on the Balustrade. Besides acting and directing, he was also an author and translator.
The management of Prague’s National Theatre this week symbolically launched planned renovation of the State Opera, located not far from Wenceslas Square. The project is set to cost 858 million crowns and will take more than two years, during which time the State Opera will put on productions at other venues. It is the first major renovation job on a large state-owned theatre since 1989.
The management of Prague’s National Theatre have symbolically launched renovation work on the city’s State Opera. The project is set to cost over CZK 850 million and take 27 months, during which time the State Opera will put on productions at other venues. It is the first major renovation job on a large state-owned theatre since 1989. The National Theatre and the State Opera were merged in 2012.
Hoped for savings from the merger of the National Theatre and State Opera failed to emerge, the spending watchdog, the Supreme Audit Office has warned in its latest report. The merger took place in 2012 and costs initially fell by just under 1.0 percent. Afterwards though they rebounded strongly. Preparations for the merger also cost around 1.4 million crowns. The National Theatre has explained the rise in costs as stemming mostly from increased wages. The watchdog also pointed to dubious drawing on reserves, flawed accounting of foreign trips and expenses, and other accounting errors in the accounts.
Few pieces of music could be said to capture the spirit of the Czech landscape more vividly than Bedřich Smetana’s symphonic cycle, Má vlast – My Homeland. The cycle is also a symbol of triumph over adversity. By the time he completed the work at the end of the 1870s, Smetana was almost totally deaf, living in isolation and far from the musical life of Prague. This and other aspects of the composer’s eventful life are captured in a new play by the American writer Stephan Delbos, which will be premiering in Prague at the beginning of March. David
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