Contemporary or New Circus has become far better established in the Czech Republic over the years thanks to the hugely popular annual festival Letní Letná (which returns in just a few weeks) and local troupes like La Putyka. But what you might not know is that there is also a centre for contemporary circus in Prague you can visit all year long, called Cirqueon. The centre strives not only to inform about New Circus but takes part in productions and offers youngsters the chance to learn gymnastic and theatrical skills.
This Friday sees the start of one of the oldest festivals in Europe celebrating amateur theatre in Hronov close to the Polish border. The festival is dedicated to the great writer Alois Jirásek, who was born there. Although his plays have since fallen out of fashion, some troupes still take a crack at his work every so often; more importantly, over the course of ten days, visitors get to see some of the best in amateur theatre from the year all in one place.
One of Prague’s most impressive architectural secrets, the massive baroque Invalidovna complex in the city’s Karlín district, is up for sale. Used as a backdrop to many films, the former home for war veterans constructed in the 18th century had found no takers from various state institutions and is now set to go under the hammer in spite of protests from well known architects and the local council.
In today's Sunday Music Show we will be listening to songs from Markéta Konvičková’s last two albums – TABLO and Kafe, bar a nikotin. Markéta Konvičková is a 22 year old Czech pop singer who first rose to fame in 2009 as a finalist on the Czech and Slovak TV series SuperStar. In 2010 she won the award for "New Artist" at the Český slavík awards. She has since released three albums.
Karlovy Vary’s Hotel Thermal was recently, as it regularly is, the backdrop for Central Europe’s biggest film festival. The complex was designed, outside and in, specifically for the film festival in the West Bohemian spa town. But the controversial 1970s architectural work of the husband and wife team of Vladimír Machonin and Věra Machoninová is showing its age with its owner, the state, blowing hot and cold about its future. That has prompted the granddaughter and grandson of the architects to step in.
Czech organist Pavel Svoboda is among the winners of this years’ International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition Leipzig, Germany, one of the most prestigious events of its kind. The 28-year-old musician succeeded in competition with 27 organists from around the world and is the first Czech to win the competition in 36 years. RF has more:
Thousands of fans of extreme metal will be flocking to the Czech Republic in just a few weeks’ time for the annual Brutal Assault music festival. Established in 1996 as a small show with mainly Czech and Slovak bands, the festival gradually evolved into one of the major events of its kind, with nearly 18,000 visitors coming to last year’s 20th edition. This August, the Brutal Assault festival will again take place at an old Army Fortress in Josefov, some 130 kilometres east of Prague. Over the course of four days the festival will showcase over
For the last decade the independent label Starcastic has been releasing much of the best Czech and Slovak alternative music, including in recent times from the likes of Please the Trees, Bonus and Mayen. The man behind the label is Slovak-born Marek Čulen, a well-known figure on the Prague music scene. Ahead of events celebrating Starcastic’s 10th anniversary, I asked Čulen what had led him to establish the label back in the mid-2000s.