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;
"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.
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.
Lost, stolen, sold, discovered in an antique shop, confiscated, ruined by a flood and finally restored and returned to its owner - that's the turbulent story of a 17th-century painting of a wealthy Prague burgher that was once in possession of Prague's Municipal Museum. The museum is now showing the cameo portrait whose story is just as interesting as the story of the man it depicts.
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
Nativity scenes celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus have a long tradition in the Czech lands, dating back to 1560, when the first such scene was introduced here by the Jesuits at their college, the Clementinum, across from the Charles Bridge in Prague. Records of the Nativity scene were lost so we will never be sure what it really looked like, but it is fairly safe to assume the scene included traditional elements including a grotto, the original manger, farm animals, and baby Jesus himself. The scene, called "Betlem" in Czech, after Bethlehem,
One of Prague's most venerable theatres is celebrating its 90th birthday this week. From playing host to such stars as Jan Werich and Jiri Voskovec in the 1930s to Helena Vondrackova and Marta Kubisova in the 1960s, the Rokoko theatre has always had a reputation for providing top-quality entertainment for Prague audiences. Nevertheless, despite the festive atmosphere surrounding its anniversary celebrations, the curtain seems set to fall in this theatre for the last time.
Latest figures show that record sales by Czech artists this year have dropped by nearly 25% to 116 million CZK or 4.7 million USD. Given that this figure covers all revenues for scores of well established artists working in the Czech music industry, it is unlikely that any local musicians are going to make it big financially in this country regardless of how famous they are. In fact many feel such relatively poor sales pose a threat to the future viability of the music industry in the Czech Republic.