The ProART Festival is entering its 15th year. This year for the first time this multi-genre festival is taking place in four towns and cities. In addition to Brno, Valtice and Liberec this year it will also expand to include Plzeň. A total of 34 instructors will lead workshops in contemporary dance, theatre, singing, music, literature and photography. Among them will be Lenka Dusilová, Zdeněk Bína, Eva Vrbková, Radka Fišarová, Zdeněk Král, and Ida Kelarová as well as authors like Josef Formánek, Michal Viewegh, Jiří Hájíček, Alena Mornštajnová and Tereza Boučková.
After almost thirty years one of the group that created Monty Python – Eric Idle – decided to wrtie a musical version of the Holy Grail. In Brno it will be performed at the Brno City Theatre under the direction of Stanislav Slovák. The main roles will be taken by Petr Štěpán or Lukáš Vlček, Daniel Rymeš or Marco Salvadori and many others.
ProART Festival has opened applications for the workshops in dance, singing, acting, photography and other arts. This year the festival will take place in Brno, Liberec and Valtice. The workshops will be led by, among others, Iva Bittová, Irene Bauer, Martin Dvořák, Ida Kelarová, Aleš Slanina, Leonie Wahl, Veronika Žilková and more.
This year Miloš Štědroň is taking part as artist in residence at the festival Concentus Moraviae. This was a welcome pretext for an interview. It covered his musical beginnings, his path to a musical education, his artistic development and his famous teachers, his inclination to the legacy of the musical avant-garde as well as why he suddenly kept a certain distance from it, how he dedicated himself to faithful and successful cooperation with the Theatre Goose on a String as well as how he was affected by the political changes of the period, how he overcame their pressure, how he worked with today’s interviewer a banned playwright, how he wrote for the wonderful Due Boemi di Praga, how he taught music and the history of music and worked as a populariser, how he knowledgably interpreted ancient music, but also Leoš Janáček, how he worked as an editor, how he became a significant and famous cultural figure, and not just in Brno, and how all the tasks he set himself in his varied and rich creative life were and are being fulfilled, and the joy he has had from it all.
Hits like Stayin’ Alive, Night Fever or How Deep Is Your Love sung beautifully, and wonderfully constructed and danced choreography in shiny disco costumes, and three exceptional performances in the main roles. That is the currency of the new Brno musical Saturday Night Fever. The director Stanislav Moša staged it in the Municipal Theatre.
An interview between Kateřina Bajo, the main coordinator for the membership of Prague as a city of literature in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and David Dittrich, main coordinator for the membership of Brno as a city of music in the same network. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was set up in 2004 and its main aim is to support cooperation and international cooperation and creativity. Now it brings together 180 member cities from 72 countries from around the world. The cities fall into 7 creative areas – literature, music, design, film, gastronomy, traditional crafts and media. A city applying for membership in the network has to fulfil very strict criteria, and it must be supported not only by the commission of experts but also by all the member cities.
Brno is now one of the 180 cities from around the world that belongs to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Only some three dozen of these are focused on music. After Prague it is the second city in the Czech Republic to be accepted into this network. The awarded title recognises the work of artists, people working in culture, the diversity of genres and cooperation with the surrounding region.
The retro comedy musical Viki kráčí za štěstím (which might be translated as Viki Seeks Her Fortune), premiered in the Brno Municipal Theatre, in many ways represents a journey back in time. He audience returns to the work of Milan Uhde and Miloš Štědroň, which has now been supplemented by the work of the composer Karel Cón. On the surface it is an excursion into a true story which took place at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, or the era of the swinging music of the sweet sixties. The same creative team led by director Juraj Nvota that was introduced five years ago on the same stage with the romantic musical Divá Bara now parades in front of the audience again.
The musical scene of the Brno City Theatre stages the musical comedy Lemonade Joe. Therefore, one of the most popular post-war heroes, who has been criss-crossing the Czech stages since 1944, returned to the local main stage last weekend. He became immortal in 1964 thanks to a brilliant film, a replica of which cannot be expected this time though. First of all, the theatre version contains many more songs, but the screenplay is different from the extraordinary celluloid version in some moments and in the final result. The new production directed by Petr Gazdík turned the well-known title into a wild narrative musical show that does not claim to be related to the famous film. On the contrary, thanks to its original humour and the method of its use, the new production tries to break through all the widely popular quotes to its own and legitimate version.
The musical about the long-term friendship between French singer Edith Piaf and German actress and singer Marlene Dietrich is focused on the solid base of their famous songs and the slightly decadent atmosphere of the 1950s in Hollywood. The new production of the City Theatre Brno tells a story of their close relationship and what they meant to each other.
There are many things which the first musical production of the Brno City Theatre will draw attention with this season. The performance Pískání po větru (Whistle Down the Wind) was staged at the Music Theatre and directed by Petr Gazdík, who also appeared in one of the main roles. Apart from the interesting dramaturgy, it is also the musical package of the title and its production as well as the main protagonists’ and numerous children actors’ performances.
A very interesting building is growing before our eyes on Veveří (street). Once completed, it will be known as Sono Center, a club with superb acoustic properties. The concert hall will be located in a sphere placed between two semicircular concrete blocks. The two blocks will house facilities for musicians, as well as a hotel and a restaurant. We sat down with the dramaturge of Sono Centre Dan Giač and the investor of this project Jiří Štopl to discuss the upcoming programme, the ideal line-up or the very reason why Štopl decided to build the center, as he is also the co-owner of the Sono Records studio. The two gentlemen did not have time to do this interview together but they were okay with my postproduction mixing.
The construction of the year 2012 was the Theatre at Orlí. Besides the actual award I was pleased that it was included in Stavby občanské vybavenosti (Community Facilities Buildings). Someone would often say that theatres are slowly transferred into the category “repository of inadaptable minorities”.