Karel Gott, the undisputed king of Czech pop music, passed away this week at the age of 80. Over the course of a career spanning nearly six decades, the celebrated showman sold tens of million of albums. Known as the “Golden Voice of Prague” at home, he was voted the country's most popular singer a record 42 times. He also had legions of fans across Europe, especially in Russia and Germany, where he was known as “The Bohemian nightingale”. We take a look back at his extraordinary musical legacy.
The popularity of disaster movies shows how people are fascinated by catastrophes, natural and otherwise. Now there’s a permanent exhibition by the City of Prague Museum called “Prague on Fire” which gives visitors a multimedia experience of the history of the city’s devastating fires. It’s located in a 17th century water tower officially called the “New Mill Water Tower” though of course it’s not new anymore.
As tributes to the late Czech singer Karel Gott pour in from at home and abroad following news of his death on Wednesday, the Kodl Art Gallery in Prague has announced it is putting one of the singer’s paintings up for action. Although Karel Gott was an amateur, self-taught painter interest in it is expected to be huge.
Karel Gott, the undisputed king of Czech pop music, has died at the age of 80. The singer succumbed to acute leukaemia with which he was diagnosed earlier this year. The singer, who turned 80 in July of this year, has had health problems in the past. In 2016 he successfully underwent chemotherapy due to an outbreak of cancer. In July, he had to cancel his performance at the Benátská Festival in Liberec, where he was planning to celebrate his birthday.
One of the most striking aspects of director Václav Marhoul’s new film The Painted Bird is the language spoken in it. The characters communicate in Interslavic, or Medžuslovjansky, an artificial language combining elements from several Slavic languages that fits with the WWII story’s unspecified Eastern European setting. Interslavic has in large part been developed by academic Dr. Vojtěch Merunka, who was closely involved in the movie. When we spoke, I first asked him about earlier attempts to create a Slavic lingua franca.
The international music festival Lípa Musica got underway this week with a performance by the British vocal ensemble King’s Singers in the Hejnice Monastery in North Bohemia. Over the course of the next few weeks, the festival will offer over 20 performances both on the Czech and German side of the border.
‘Laydeez do Comics’ is an international organisation that promotes female comics artists and their work. I spoke with the co-founders of the Czech branch shortly after the publication of their new book Komiksodějky. This anthology of essays and interviews about the genre, its history and specific Czech development, features a wild, eclectic mix of comics and illustrations by local female comics authors, many of whom poke fun at stereotypes.