The news of Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to step down has surprised the world. Here in the Czech Republic, church leaders have praised his courage and recalled his visit to the country in 2009. However, Pope Benedict’s retirement for health reasons raises questions over whether his successor will attend a huge Catholic celebration in Velehrad planned for later this year.
Karolína Milerová, who is 23, found herself running an international business following the death in 2011 of her grandfather, Zdeněk Miler. He was the creator of the hugely popular Czech children’s character Krtek, or Mole, which for over half a century appeared in a series of cartoons and countless books.
The Matadors, one of the greatest Czech beat groups of the 1960s, only released one LP, their eponymous 1968 debut. Like many Prague bands of their era, they had a fluid membership, though the classic lineup is regarded as Radim Hladík on guitar, Viktor Sodoma on vocals, Jan “Farmer” Obermayer on electric organ, Otto Bezloja on bass and Tony Black (Miroslav Schwarz) on drums.
Tim Smisek is an American singer and songwriter living in Prague. He regularly performs at Restaurant Anna and various other venues in the Czech capital. For this week’s edition of the Arts Tim visited Radio Prague’s studio to talk about his music, plans for the future and work on a new album. Lorna Stephen began by asking him how he came to live in Prague.
A new photography exhibition that gets underway in Prague on Thursday takes a novel approach to one of the thornier subjects in modern Czech history: the massacres that took place during the expulsion of millions Germans at the end of WWII. Photographer Lukáš Houdek has reconstructed some of those actual events – using Barbie and Ken dolls. Ahead of the opening of The Art of Killing, Houdek told me about how he prepared for the unusual project.
The troupe Prague Burlesque introduced the Czech capital to the revived burlesque art form – a theatrical, glamorous and relatively modest take on striptease – in 2007 and have been performing at various venues in the city ever since. The M.C. and mastermind of the show is David N. Jahn, a sometime musician who was born in Zurich to Czech parents but moved to Prague to study.
In this edition of the Sunday Music Show we talk to the talented young singer, composer and pianist Hana Robinson, who studied at the Berklee College of Music and launched a successful musical career in the Czech Republic. In the show you we discuss learning piano in childhood, sport, her stay in the US and being diagnosed several years ago with MS and how that changed her life.
For some years after the fall of communism, Czech audiences avoided any kind of theatre that might have been perceived as political. After decades of putting up with politics at every level of life, they had simply had enough. But today political drama is back with a vengeance. With a mixture of masochism and schadenfreude, Czech audiences are relishing new plays and productions that comment on contemporary political life with biting satire. David Vaughan reports.
This January, a number of theater and dance troupes from the Czech Republic participated in an annual international APAP performing arts festival in New York City. The Czech Centre in New York hosted all of the Czech performances this year, for the second year in a row, at their Bohemian Hall space in Manhattan. In this week’s Arts, we spoke to the director of the Czech Centre in New York, Pavla Niklová, about organizing the performances for APAP, how some of the pieces resonated with a New York audience, and what Czech theater companies can bring
‘Limonádový Joe’ (Lemonade Joe) is a cult sixties Czech western cum musical about a lemonade salesman in the Wild West. The film started life as column in a newspaper written by Jiří Brdečka during the war, before becoming a theatre play, and then finally the all-singing, all-dancing, film production Czechs know and love today. Tereza Brdečková is a film critic and the daughter of Jiří Brdečka, the man who conceived the movie: