We have spoken about the poet Ivan Blatný many times on Radio Prague, most recently when Martin Reiner published his award-winning novel about the poet in 2014. Blatný had an extraordinary life. At the age of twenty-nine and already a rising literary star in Czechoslovakia, he took refuge in Britain, just a few weeks after the communists came to power in February 1948. Not long afterwards he had a complete nervous breakdown and he spent most of the next four decades in various hospital and psychiatric institutions in southern England, where he died
The Bavarian State Opera in Munich, one of the world’s leading opera houses, will this weekend stage the world premiere of a new piece by the Czech composer Miroslav Srnka. Called South Pole, the opera tells the story of two teams racing each other to reach the most southerly point on Earth. Starring Rollando Villazón in the role of Robert Scott, it represents a major milestone for the composer.
Power, sex, and film world glamour, against the backdrop of the rise and fall of the Nazi regime. The story of Czechoslovak film actress, Lída Baarová, has it all. And it’s therefore not surprising that the Czech film world has returned yet again to Baarová this month, first with a documentary film about the actress and then with a full length feature film.
Prague’s Pop Art Museum in Husova Street recently launched a new exhibition mapping the history of Apple computers which changed the world and the impact of visionary Steve Jobs. On view, are key devices from the original Apple I by Stephen Wozniak, to the Macintosh, to the iMac. Some of the items on display are rare limited editions only ever produced in the hundreds or several thousands.
The Czech Republic's biggest festival of country and folk music, Porta, celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Established in 1967 by a group of music enthusiasts, the festival gradually evolved into one of the largest events of its kind in Europe, attracting some 30,000 visitors in its heydey. Many of the country’s respected musicians and bands, including Spirituál kvintet, Wabi Daněk or the Nedvěd brothers, started their careers there. Last week, Porta launched the first of a series of concerts marking its special anniversary.
Hello and welcome to Radio Prague, with me R.F. Today's Sunday Music Show is dedicated to the album Sociální síť or Social network, a joint effort of three veteran authors: lyricist Michal Horáček, guitarist and composer Michal Pavlíček, and the Slovak singer Richard Muller. The album,which contains twelve ballads set to rock music and performed in a chanson-like style was released in October last year.
Our colleague David Vaughan was quite surprised when a little over two years ago his daughter came home from school and said that she had been invited to the launch of a book written by one of her classmates. Marcela Remeňová was only thirteen when one of the top Czech publishing houses brought out her debut novel, Seznámení – First Acquaintance. This has been followed by a second, a third is on the way and that is even though Marcela has only just passed her sixteenth birthday. The three books will make up a sci-fi trilogy, Osm světů – Eight Worlds
Czech writers have joined a worldwide initiative in support of the Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh living in Saudi Arabia, who was sentenced to death by the Saudi authorities for his love poems, which allegedly contain atheistic formulations. A public reading, attended by a number of Czech poets, took place at the Faculty of Arts in Prague on Thursday evening:
A Museum of the Bible will soon open its doors to the public in the town of Pelhřimov. Organized by the Biblical Theological Seminar, a non-profit organization that provides theological training in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the museum will display a large number of bibles in different languages –from rare old prints dating back to the 16th century to a Lego Bible for children. I asked one of the organizers of the project, theologian Vladimír Donát to tell me more about the museum and how the idea to establish a permanent exposition of this
The Czech Radio station Wave is today celebrating a major landmark; the youth and alternative station has now been delivering challenging music and all manner of arts and lifestyle reports for exactly a decade. To find out about Radio Wave’s big day and future plans, I spoke to its director of programming, Robert Candra. But I first asked him whether Wave’s removal from FM and conversion to an internet station two years after its 2006 launch had felt like a limitation.