The Brno - UNESCO City of Music Office is launching a multi-year project that aims to map Brno’s amateur music scene. This year will be the Year of Choirs. The biggest event is being prepared for the European Music Day. Several dozen Brno choirs will perform on the stage at the Cabbage (Zelný) Market as part of a large-scale happening.
For the fourteenth year now, the space under the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul comes alive with productions from the Brno Municipal Theatre (MdB). This year, the MdB will start its summer performances at the beginning of June and will stage a total of 29 performances of seven different titles in the Bishop’s Court. The traditional summer stage will open with the world premiere of the original production Crocodile from Svratka or Mozart in Brno by Stanislav Slovák, Jan Šotkovský, and Petr Štěpán.
The musical “Matilda” is based on the book by the English novelist Roald Dahl, published in 1988. The Brno premiere of the musical will be translated and directed by Petr Gazdík. Matilda has three alternate performers in the title role – Anna Bergerová, Maria Juráčková, and Karolina Kabele. Other roles will be played by Jiří Mach, Milan Němec, Kristýna Daňhelová, Dagmar Křížová, Alena Antalová, Johana Gazdíková, and others. The conductors of the production are Dan Kalousek and Ema Mikešková. Choreography was created by Carli Rebecca Jefferson.
The Brno City Theatre has launched the Czech premiere of the musical “Matilda” based on the famous book of the same name by Roald Dahl, one of the world’s best-selling authors. Directed by Petr Gazdík, the family show aspires to be a spectacle for the auditorium for all ages. On stage, however, it is the children who win in this demanding production, led by the lead actress Maruška Juráčková. Her performance inspires respect beyond the quantity of text, the quality of her singing, and her command of movement. To be fair, however, the children’s roles are alternated three times, and these performers have undergone the same training.
Charlotte Brontë’s famous novel Jane Eyre has inspired many artists. The extraordinary prose is one of the highlights of Romantic literature. Its importance is also evidenced by over thirty film, television and musical adaptations. The Brno City Theatre (BCT) staged a musical adaptation of it this weekend as the Czech premiere. The production directed by Petr Gazdík is a strong and impressive piece of musical theatre that impresses with its musical staging, singing and acting performances, as well as costume, scenography and movement.
Yesterday, Visitors to the Brno City Theatre experienced the Czech premiere of the Broadway musical hit Pretty Woman. Directed by Stanislav Moša, this theatrical adaptation of the famous blockbuster highlighted the strengths of the movie. Until the break, the viewer is mostly laughing royally and having fun in this tale of a modern Cinderella, and then in the second half the impressiveness and lyricism of the whole title is especially pronounced.
Operetta is a wilful child that stopped obeying its parents and ran away from the opera house. Its origin is much more explicable when one considers France, where operetta emerged in the midnineteenth century as an entertaining and often very sarcastic polar opposite to the megalomaniacal productions of “grand opera”. In Brno, as was the case everywhere else in the world, operetta appealed to the broad public, offering both social satire as well as quite conventional entertainment. In the interwar period, thanks to the enlightened lead of Oldřich Nový, it took on a sophisticated polish. Later the Brno theatre scholar Ivo Osolsobě was able to give it a solid theoretical basis, and so move on from the stultified operetta to the lively musical. Today Brno boasts not only a theatre built specifically for musicals but a degree programme in Musical Acting at JAMU. Through the musical A Ballad for a Bandit the brigand Nikola Šuhaj set off from Brno into the world of theatre and film, while Brno’s Liza Doolittle made her living as My Fair Lady of Zelný trh, Brno’s ancient market square. And so we’ve come full circle: the square is the site of the Reduta theatre, operetta’s home in times past.
To write a guide to music in Brno in the past and present means digging deep into one’s own recollections and those of others as well as into sources with varying degrees of reliability, and as far as possible not believing anything automatically but always asking “Did this really happen just like that?” And in doing so, to be very, very suspicious of one’s own memory. Two basic questions that cropped up in connection with almost every sentence were “What is it about this band or that event that makes them special? Would someone who’s never been to Brno and has no ties with the city find it interesting?”
Due to the impact of extraordinary measures taken because of the Covid-19 pandemic on stakeholders of the cultural and creative industries in Brno, Brno leaders and the Department of Culture of the Brno City Municipality are working intensively on a set of precautions for minimizing the damages. At the same time, communication is conducted on all levels of public administration, predominantly in collaboration with the Institut umění – Divadelní ústav [Arts and Theatre Institute], which is mapping the situation on the nationwide level. Until 22 March 2020 you can help assess the current situation by means of an online survey (the link is provided below). Further steps will be taken according to the results of the survey.
A fateful comedy, the third part of a musical trilogy or a fantasy musical. These attributes define Paradise, a new authorial piece from the workshop of Zdenek Merta and Stanislav Moša. Their ninth joint work in the field of music theatre was premiered yesterday on the big stage of the Brno City Theatre. The result is embarrassing.
On the last day of May, the Dominikánské Square in Brno came to life with music, singing and dancing. At half past two in the afternoon, the programme of the nationwide happening of primary artistic schools ZUŠ started under the patronage of the Magdalena Kožená Endowment Fund by announcing the results of the "TO JE talent"competition. The participants did not only come to pick up with prizes. Several of the award-winning singers and musicians proved this. For example, Lucie Sedláčková with the song by Ewa Farná Měls mě vůbec rád [Did You Love Me At All?] attracted an ever growing crowd of listeners, while singer and pianist Veronika Vávrová did the same with the ballad Million Reasons by Lady Gaga.
The musical Nine, based on the legendary film 8½ by director Frederico Fellini, was prepared under director Stanislav Moša as the penultimate premiere of the season at the Brno City Theatre. They prepared an at places almost erotic show, led by interesting scenography, well-made costumes, brilliant musical preparation and the energy of the female acting. The sensuality of some of the dance parts thankfully did not overshadow the central theme of the hero’s crises: mid-life, art and relationship.
Yesterday Brno City Theatre gave the European premiere of the musical The Last Ship, written by the world-famous musician Sting. It is a mixture of his wonderful music drawn from British folk, a successfully and honestly told tale and also a strong acting performance, which should guarantee the production’s successful voyage to the audience.