If you have ever wondered about how 19th century Czech settlers lived on the Great Plains of the American Midwest, there is no better way to find out than by reading the novels of Willa Cather. David Vaughan looks at the Bohemian side of a classic American novelist who is surprisingly little known here in the Czech Republic.
Born in Prague, he lived in Brussels, Stuttgart, Cologne, and later London and Antwerp, meticulously recording his surroundings and reflecting the society around him in his art. Václav or Wenceslaus, or even Wenzel, Hollar sounds like a modern-day European artist, but he actually lived four hundred years ago. Although he was brought up to go into law, Hollar became an etcher and draughtsman, whose work now provides us with beautifully detailed depictions of the people, architecture, landscapes and even a battle that took place in Europe in the seventeenth
The 9th Fresh Film Fest opens in Prague on Wednesday celebrating new and debut films from around the world. This year’s installment of the festival features movies by British documentary maker Peter Watkins, Tom Tykwer and other Czech and international artists. The main theme of the Fresh Film Fest this year is Manipulation. Radio Prague spoke to the festival’s programme director Michal Hogenauer, and asked him what exactly this means.
The highly-respected alternative/electronic pop band Tatabojs recently reissued four of their best-known albums Futuretro, Biorytmy, Nanoalbum and Kluci kde ste? complete with additional bonus tracks, demo versions, video footage and other rarities. If you’ve never heard the band before, now’s your chance: in this edition of the Sunday Music Show we’ll be featuring material from their original releases and we’ll talk a bit about the band’s history.
Prague’s Letensky park this month sees the return of the annual two week Letní Letná festival of contemporary circus, now in it’s ninth year. The festivities kicked off on Sunday with events showcasing the best contemporary circus has to offer, from puppet shows and performances with soap bubbles in the afternoon to dazzling big top spectacles in the evening. I spoke to Jiří Sedlák, one of the festival organizers, and asked him what the original idea behind the festival was.
She was born to a Czech mother and Macedonian father. Despite this fact, she speaks fluent Czech having been raised mainly in the Czech Republic. She doesn’t sing in Czech too much, however. Please meet a singer, songwriter, an occasional fashion designer and a very nice woman – Dannie, who is JP’s guest on the Sunday Music Show.
Czech parents may well be relieved to know that, if the latest studies are anything to go by, their children are still keen readers. And what are they reading? Well, how about Psycho for Kids and Baby Punk…? Such is the rich new world of Czech children’s writing and publishing, post-1989. It’s a world where poetry, music and visual art have come to overlap with some surprising results. In reaction to four decades of censorship, just about anything goes and there is little nostalgia for the old days. The journalist Kateřina Kadlecová has taken a
Czech painter Hynek Martinec has been living in London ever since he made a breakthrough there with his painting Zuzana in Paris Studio. The hyper-realistic portrait of Hynek’s girlfriend won in 2007 the prestigious BP Young Artist Award. A native of the eastern Bohemian town Broumov, Hynek Martinec will soon rerurn to the Czech Republic. In October, the 32-year-old artist will be featured in an exhibition of contemporary British painting entitled Beyond Reality, along with Damien Hirst, Ben Johnson, Keith Tyson, and other artists. RP spoke to Hynek
Opera performances are generally not crowd pullers, but the new opera Enchantia, which premiered in January 2012 at the Prague National Theatre was sold-out in a matter of weeks. Families with children of all ages literally swarmed to the opera house eager for a glimpse of the magic land. Directed by Petr Forman, one of the twin-sons of famous Miloš Forman, and composed by Marko Ivanović, Enchantia became a phenomenon disproving the view that opera is a dead genre. Composer Marko Ivanović is JPs guest on todays One on One.