Discover Czech Republic, Music

This was Verdi’s Nabucco at Stirin Castle 2015

PLAKAT-STIRIN-A2-TISKFor a single evening, Stirin Castle Courtyard in the Czech Republic hosted Verdi’s Nabucco and soloists of the National Theater Opera Prague and Opera House in Liberec. Verdi’s third opera Nabucco owes its reputation to the famous chorus “Va pensiero”, sung in the third act by the Hebrew people, who long for their homeland after being exiled by the Babylonian king Nabucco.
Watch “Va pensiero” from the 2014 Nabucco production at Jindrichuv Hradec Castle.


Dvorak 2

Vysoka, a place of Dvorak’s inpiration for Rusalka

Dvorak 2Antonin Dvorak is without doubt, one of the great composers. If you want to follow his footprints, one of the best places to visit is Vysoka, a small village close to Pribram (just an hour by car from Prague), where Antonin Dvorak spent his summers and composed some of his masterpieces, including the opera Rusalka. There are two houses here connected to Dvorak, one, a mansion, once owned by Count Kounic, hosted Dvorak and his family. Today, this neo-renaissance villa is the Antonin Dvorak memorial devoted to his work and life. You can walk around this little chateau and immerse yourself in Dvorak’s world of music. The other house is a private villa “Rusalka”, today owned by the Dvorak family. Although it is not open to the public, we will be happy to arrange a private visit to the house. If we are lucky, we might meet Mr. Antonin Dvorak III, the grandson of the composer. This place feels like Dvorak left just a few minutes ago to walk to church in a village nearby. Dvorak’s desk, his hat and pipe, books, manuscripts, letters, photos, they are all there. The bench in front of the house, the garden with trees planted by Antonin Dvorak at the time when he composed the opera Jakobin, and so much more. The house itself is in almost the same condition as when Antonin Dvorak lived here, more than a hundred years ago.

Image source: Vysoka on Wikipedia

The Cunning Little Vixen (by Leos Janacek) at the National Theatre in Prague

The Cunning Little Vixen (by Leos Janacek) at the National Theatre in Prague

The Cunning Little Vixen (by Leos Janacek) at the National Theatre in Prague
The Cunning Little Vixen (by Leos 1 hour weekend loans Janacek) at the National Theatre in Prague

The Cunning Little Vixen, opera by Leos Janacek is on the repertoire again at the National Theatre in Prague.

This opera was inspired by the daily comics published in the Czech newspaper. It was premiered in 1924 in Brno. The work incorporates Moravian folk music and typical Janacek’s composition harmony. It is one of the most famous Czech operas and a key part of the world opera houses repertoire. La Scala presented The Cunning Little Vixen in 1958.

So far, widely known facts. However, you may not know that Leos Janacek composed this opera while inspired by a young beautiful women, Kamila Stosselova. Kamila lived in the spa city of Luhacovice where Janacek met her. She was married but Janacek fell deeply in love with her and wrote over 700 letters to Kamila. Thanks to her, Janacek composed other two operas, Katya Kabanova and The Macropulos Affair.