O2 Universum, a major new multifunctional hall is set to open for the first
time this Thursday in Prague, with a concert by the popular Czech rock band
Kabát. The 50,000 square meter complex neighbours the 02 Arena, Prague’s
biggest venue of its kind. The O2 Universum contains a number of halls, the
largest of which has a capacity of 4,500. Its facilities will be used to
host conferences, concerts and sporting events.
The facility is owned and run by Bestsport, a company which is part of PPF, the financial and investment group owned by billionaire Petr Kellner.
The international music festival Lípa Musica got underway this week with a performance by the British vocal ensemble King’s Singers in the Hejnice Monastery in North Bohemia. Over the course of the next few weeks, the festival will offer over 20 performances both on the Czech and German side of the border.
Released in 1964, Starci na chmelu is the first and perhaps most famous Czechoslovak film musical. The film’s songs were written by Vratislav Blažek and were recorded with some of the country’s most popular singers at the time, including Karel Gott, Josef Zíma, Jana Petrů and Karel Štědrý. With a story that transcends time, Starci na chmelu was one of the country’s commercially most successful movies and initiated a period which would produce many more film musicals.
The Czech Republic’s most famous pop singer Karel Gott is suffering from
acute leukaemia and is undergoing out-patient treatment at the General
University Hospital in Prague, according to a message posted on his
Facebook account. Mr. Gott says that his doctors discovered a
haematopoiesis disorder a year and a half ago, which has developed into
leukaemia in the last few months.
The singer, who turned 80 earlier this year, has had health problems in the past. In 2016 he successfully underwent chemotherapy due to an outbreak of cancer. In July, he had to cancel his performance at the Benátská Festival in Liberec, where he was planning to celebrate his birthday.
Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek (Social Democrats) objected to the
recent cancellation of concerts by Czech ensembles in China during a
meeting with the country’s ambassador in Prague, the news agency ČTK
Beijing has ‘indefinitely postponed’ or cancelled scheduled tours by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and other groups, likely due to an ongoing feud with Prague Mayor Zdenek Hřib (Pirates), a vocal supporter of Taiwan and Tibet.
Minister Zaorálek reportedly told the Chinese ambassador that the cancellations have damaged bilateral relations.
Since taking office a year ago, Hřib has pushed for the removal of a clause in a Prague-Beijing cooperation agreement requiring the Czech capital to respect the communist country’s “one-China policy”.
Dvořák‘s Prague festival, dedicated to one of the country’s greatest
composers, opened at the Rudofinum concert hall on Sunday.
The opening concert, which this year falls on the day of Antonín Dvořák’s birth, featured Dvorak‘s Cello Concerto in B minor with Kian Soltani, one of the world’s most promising cellists of the younger generation, and Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony conducted by the world-famous conductor Christoph Eschenbach.
The festival, which closes on September 23,will showcase renowned soloists, such as violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Ivo Pogorelich, and some of the world’s leading orchestras.
The Czech rock-pop band Jelen has released a new album paying tribute to the Czech country music legend Michal Tučný. The LP, called Půlnoční vlak Michala Tučného, contains eleven cover versions of the singer’s biggest hits. Tučný’s daughter Michaela appears as a guest singer on several of the songs.
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’.
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