The Fifth International Theatre and Music Festival Janáček Brno 2016, on until October 18, has featured more than 25 top productions on 12 stages featuring Leoš Janáček’s work. One of the most anticipated performances this year was a re-staging of Janáček’s romantic tragedy Katya Kabanova at the National Theatre in Brno, directed by Robert Carsen.
The best attended arts event of the year in the Czech Republic gets underway on Thursday. At 22 venues and over four evenings, the Signal Festival of Lights is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of the capital to enjoy works by top international and local light artists. On the eve of the fourth edition of the festival, I asked founder Martin Pošta what was new this year.
Fans of Czech swing and jazz will no doubt be thrilled to learn about the new release of a new 14 CD box set compiling a decade of recordings by the famous Karel Vlach Orchestra, from 1939 to 1949. The set features almost 350 studio tracks from the orchestra credited with popularising Swing in Czechoslovakia.
Even though he lives a world away from Prague, the New Zealand poet David Howard was on familiar territory when he visited the Czech Republic this year. In his poetry he has come to this country often over the last decades. Thanks to the Cities of Literature scheme, coordinated by UNESCO, he was able to spend a two-month literary residency in Prague. The encounter of the city of his imagination with the reality proved an inspiration. David Vaughan has more.
Noir fiction and the sub-genre Urban Noir do not have a long-standing tradition in Czech writing, where the emphasis for many years was on classic mysteries and detective stories. But that didn’t stop the independent Brooklyn-based publishing house Akashic Books from addressing Czech publisher Paseka with the idea of adding Prague to its long running urban noir series.
In 2007 when businesses were closing down as a result of the global crisis, Leon Jakimič founded his lighting installations and glass artworks company Lasvit. Today it is one of the world leaders in its field, with offices in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Dubai and many other cities. Mr. Jakimič runs the company from Hong Kong but, on one of his many visits to the Czech Republic, he showed us around the Ajeto glassworks in Nový Bor where the company’s unique creations take shape.
The annual Prague Writers’ Festival, which brings together prominent writers and thinkers from around the world, gets underway in Prague on Friday. The 26th edition of the festival focuses on the theme of Crime and Punishment in a world where the destruction of universal human values often leads to extreme individualism. As always, the festival brings a number of guests, including US writer Chuck Palahniuk.