"Christmas Eve" is the first ever concert melodrama that was introduced to the Czech audience. In celebration of the 130th anniversary of its first ever performance, Dita Asiedu explores how this masterpiece by the great Czech composer Zdenek Fibich was born and visits a Prague exhibition devoted to Christmas Eve in art.
The little town of Roztoky, just a few kilometres north of Prague is a perfect place for a day trip from the city. Its main landmark is the old castle - originally a moated gothic manor house - down by the River Vltava - which houses the Museum of Central Bohemia. Among its exhibits the castle includes a room furnished in the style of the mid-19th century, when Roztoky first became a popular out-of-town resort for better-off Prague citizens. Not far from the main castle there is also a mill and a delightful little building from the turn of the
This October the Czech Republic lost one of its greatest artists, with the death of Eva Svankmajerova. She was probably best known for her painting and her collaborative film work with her husband Jan Svankmajer, but she was also a very accomplished writer. We talk to Gwendolyn Albert, who translated her Surrealist novella, "Baradla Cave".
Every May, thousands of music lovers from around the world flock to the Czech capital for the Czech Republic's biggest and most renowned classical music festival - the Prague Spring. 2006 will be no exception, featuring some of the world's leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists at impressive venues like Prague's Rudolfinum, the Bertramka, or the Municipal House. Tickets went on sale this week.
Fried carp and potato salad is today the 'bread and butter' of any traditional Czech Christmas meal. But this was not always so. Pious Czechs once used to fast at Christmas; they then took to cooking meatless dishes, such as sweet porridge with dried fruits. Slowly, fish - and finally, carp -- became the most common fasting meal. In this week's Panorama, however, we go along to a tasting of Advent and Christmas dishes that predate - by centuries - the carp and potato salad tradition. Some recipes date back to the Middle Ages and are long forgotten;
At the age of eighty Stanislav Kolibal is still active, testing new approaches and ideas. This year he has devoted himself to painting and his work is now on display in Prague's Veletrzni Palac, the part of the National Gallery devoted to modern art, until the middle of February. The watercolours on show are all in a shade of gray and represent trends in modern contemporary art. What might seem a random accumulation of squares, circles and rectangular shapes is in fact carefully composed to the very last detail.
"In general, people think that short films are made by amateurs or are experimental projects. In our programme we really have well crafted stories about people - really professionally made films. So, don't be scared, don't worry, you will really find a nice piece of film. Not just one story in one programme but 7,8, or even 10 stories in a programme. So, when you pay 50 crowns for a ticket, you get a film for 8 crowns each. That's fantastic!" - Stefan Urik, Prague Short Film Festival Artistic Director.
It is the dream of every musicologist to rediscover a lost work by a great composer. This is just what happened to Eva Velicka from Prague. Four months ago while researching in the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen, she came across the lost original manuscript of the String trio no. 1 by one of the great 20th century Czech composers, Bohuslav Martinu. On Sunday the work was performed in Prague by the Zemlinsky Quartet - for the first time in eighty years. Eva Velicka, who works at the Bohuslav Martinu Institute in Prague, came into our studio