It may be the holiday season, a time when most prefer fairy tales on Czech TV, but fans of detective fiction, horror or the avant garde also had a chance to come into their own. Just before Christmas the Klicper Theatre in Hradec Králové premiered a new play by one of the Czech Republic’s most successful playwrights and directors, David Drábek. The focus? None other than the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, under new management after years of discord, has appointed the world-class conductor and native Czech Jiří Bělohlávek to be its chief conductor when the current maestro, Eliahu Inbal, steps down in 2012. The choice has been widely applauded, with Mr Bělohlávek seen as just the thing to bring the national philharmonic into the future and out into the world. Earlier I spoke by phone with Jaroslav Pondělíček of the orchestra’s artistic board, who told me how Jiří Bělohlávek could succeed where others could not.
Professionals in the Czech film industry have put together a new Film Canon of both domestic and international productions to be used as a teaching aid in Czech elementary and secondary schools. The choice of top films includes both Czech and world classics from Juraj Herz’s Spalovač Mrtvol (The Cremator) to Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.
A unique show on at Prague’s Mánes Gallery is continuing to attract visitors like no other, the latest collaboration between respected artist and performer Petr Nikl and dozens of contributing artists from around the world. Called PLAY, the show invites visitors of all ages, from children to seniors to complete, destroy, co-author or interact with existing installations, which range from musical sculptures to piles of found objects that can be arranged and rearranged anyway you like. Radio Prague caught up with the artist earlier this week and takes
Miroslav Tichý was nearly 80 years old when the surreptitious photographs he had taken of women and girls decades earlier were exhibited publicly for the first time. Combined with his story as a tramp-like recluse, the voyeuristic pictures’ eerie quality made Tichý an international art sensation. This week the first Prague exhibition of his work got underway.
Cards featuring the work of Josef Lada are an integral part of Czech Christmas. Lada is best known internationally for illustrations of the Good Soldier Švejk, but his simply drawn carol singers, snow covered villages and nativity scenes are just as popular in his native country. His grandson, also named Josef Lada, says the artist's images capture something everyone can relate to.
Last month the Czech Republic enjoyed its annual celebration of poetry, the “Den poezie”. Literally this translates as “poetry day”, although in reality the event lasts a good deal longer than a mere 24 hours. This year there was a particular reason to celebrate, as David Vaughan reports in Czech Books.
Last week the Czech National Museum launched a new exhibition called New Czech Fables (or New Czech Myths) at the Kinský summer palace, located at the edge of Prague’s Petřín Hill. The show examines urban legends, sayings, social rituals and counter-culture movements in the former Czechoslovakia as well as present-day Czech Republic. In this week’s Arts, Radio Prague takes a closer look.
In our increasingly globalised world, cross-cultural musical collaborations are becoming ever more common, and you couldn’t find a better example of this trend than the work of Pedro Rodriguez. A DJ, producer and rapper whose passport reads Petr Kulíšek, he has forged a unique partnership between Cuban and Czech musicians with a project named La Conexion.