In this week’s Arts my guest is Canadian opera singer Melanie Gall – a soprano who has performed around the world including in Israel, Italy, France and the Czech Republic. This week she dropped by Radio Prague’s studio to discuss upcoming performances at this year’s American Spring Festival. She’s is a charming guest with a great sense of humour and Melanie talks not only about what she’ll be performing while in Prague but also about opera in general.
It was another cold, grey morning for the thousands of commuters who passed through the city’s crowded metro stations making their way to work on Wednesday morning. But on this particular day the mood in Prague’s busy subway was different. An all-day musical happening put a smile on people’s faces and many stopped to listen, even if it meant missing their regular train connection.
On Wednesday night, The Shape of Blue, a painting by abstract artist František Kupka, sold for 55.75 million crowns at auction – setting a new Czech art auction record. The impressive final sum came as a surprise even to the director of Adolf Loos Aprtment & Gallery, which organized the auction. What significance does this latest record have for the domestic art market, and what makes this work of Kupka’s special? We spoke to Jan Skřivánek, the editor-in-chief of art + antiques.
Undoubtedly the most famous guest at this year’s Prague Writers’ Festival, the British novelist, screenwriter and playwright Hanif Kureishi rose to international fame in 1985, with his screenplay for the film “My Beautiful Laundrette”. Since then, he published the novel “The Buddha of Suburbia” to great acclaim and continues to write extensively, both for the screen and works of fiction. Ahead of his first reading at the festival, I asked him about his work, why he enjoys the short story form and if he had previously visited Prague.
Amongst intellectuals in Turkey, the psychologist and author Gündüz Vassaf is a bit of a rock-star. He writes a weekly column for the newspaper radical, was a founding member of the Istanbul chapter of Amnesty International and resigned from his post as university professor in protest of the 1980 military coup. Born and educated in America, Vassaf is regarded as one of the most important critical voices in Turkey. Currently, he is in town for the Prague Writers’ Festival, and we spoke to him ahead of the gala opening. The interview opens with the
This edition of Radio Prague’s Sunday Music show is devoted to Czech chanson singer Jana Rychterová – a singer who captivates audiences with her unassuming stage presence, her love of improvisation and her funny, smart lyrics. Jana sings about feelings that strike a chord with her audience, be it waiting at a tram stop or getting dumped. As she says she likes to laugh and cry – both in real life and her chansons.
“Bixley Remedial School” is one of the most remarkable collections of Czech poetry from the second half of the twentieth century. At the time it was first published in the early 1980s, its author Ivan Blatný was a long-term patient in a psychiatric hospital in England. A new edition of the collection reminds us that Blatný’s poetry is far from being the mere scribbling of a madman. David Vaughan reports.
This Saturday will see two bilingual performances in Prague of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues a play that has empowered women worldwide, tackling not only issues of sexuality but also rape and abuse. The ‘Monologues’, unlike almost any other work, have inspired an entire activist movement. Ahead of the Prague performance, Radio Prague talked to co-producer Gail Whitmore.
On Saturday, the 22nd edition of the prestigious Prague Writers’ Festival kicks off in the Czech capital, under the theme of “Only the future exists”. For five days, visitors will have the opportunity to attend readings, discussion panels and film screenings featuring writers from around the world. As every year, the festival brings writers of international caliber to the city, with the British novelist and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi probably the most famous guest this year. Sarah Borufka spoke to the festival’s president, Michael March, about