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.
Final preparations are underway for the Prague Spring music festival, which begins on Saturday evening with the traditional rendition of Smetana’s My Country at the Municipal House. As always, it will showcase a plethora of major names in classical music. But this year there will also be a special focus on the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Pavel Trojan, the festival’s spokesperson, told me more.
Many people don’t know that the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest leading Czech orchestras. It was founded only three years after the creation of Czech Radio in 1923 and it is currently celebrating its 91st season. I talked to Jakub Čížek, the Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra about their ongoing season and began by asking him about the orchestra’s mission.
The Czech Christmas Mass was performed for the 17th year in succession at
Prague’s busy Main Train Station on Saturday afternoon. Musicians and
choir members were joined by scores of members of the public in a rendition
of the pastoral mass by composer Jan Jakub Ryba.
Dozens of choristers were conducted by the organiser of the pre-Christmas event, Lukáš Prchal. The composition, known colloquially as “Rybovka”, was also performed with public participation on Kampa, beneath Prague’s Charles Bridge.
The renowned British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen is set to make her debut with the Czech Philharmonic in Prague’s Rudolfinum on Saturday. The graduate of the Royal College of Art and this year’s recipient of the ECHO Rising Star Awards will be performing a world premiere of a piece by the award-winning British composer Richard Blackford.
World famous singer Placido Domingo takes to Prague’s Estates Theatre to conduct Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni. It’s the same theatre where Mozart himself conducted the premier of his work in 1787 with Domingo’s rendition coming on the 230th anniversary of the original. A second performance conducted by Domingo will take place on Sunday in the square outside the National Theatre and will be televised by public broadcaster Czech Television. Domingo came up with the idea of the two performances during a private visit to the Czech capital.
In 2016, Czechs picked more than five billion crowns worth of fruits and
mushrooms in the country’s forests. In all, people picked 33,800 tons,
which is less than the long-term average of 39,300.
The news was confirmed by a new report for the government on the state of Czech forests and forestry on Wednesday.
In monetary terms, Czechs picked 800 million crowns’ worth less year-on-year. A single household picked 8.14 kilograms.