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420People’s Love & Loss: Phrasing the Pain

Belgian choreographer Anne Van den Broek creates Phrasing the Pain for the Czech dance company that was born at Nederlans Dans Theatre. The spotlights target the people in the audience and the performers are hidden on the stage behind this curtain of light. First come Nataša Novotná and Václav Kuneš. She painfully touches and hugs him, trying to bring life into the body of her partner. All her touches are…

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Beat the Blahs: Your February Calendar

‘The February Blahs,’ ‘Cabin Fever’ are just two illnesses affecting us during the grey-sky month of February. The best antidote: go to a concert, opera, or dance performance you’ve never experienced before. Here’s our advice on where to take the cure. Why not go where many have not dared venture before, and try out an opera? If the idea makes you tremble, just think of it like this: before there…

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Fibich: Romance Scored, Sealed, & Delivered

A composer who enjoys writing letters can express himself twice. Such was the case with Czech composer Zdeněk Fibich (1850-1900), as a recent performance at The Atrium gorgeously demonstrated. Fibich’s music, played by pianist Miroslav Sekera, violinist Markéta Janoušková, and sung by soprano Lucie Silkenová, combined with Fibich’s romantic correspondence read by actor Ondřej Kepka. Their performance inspired a meditation on the similarities between musical score and letter — and…

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A Better Kind of White Power

Music has the power to unite and to inspire, as the Čhavorenge Choir of Romany children, dressed in gleaming white, proved recently. What does nationalism and power mean in 2015 – in the Czech Republic or Ukraine or anywhere? The various answers came at a Nov 17 Students’ Day concert. It was held in the Rudolfinum and featured the Czech Philharmonic Students’ Orchestra and several student choirs from several parts…

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Jakub Hrůša: How to Listen to Classical Music

Confused about classical music? Or maybe ‘apprehensive’ is a better word? Chief conductor Jakub Hrůša explains what to listen for in classical music, in this heart-to-heart interview with Opus Osm. We’re sitting in front of Jakub Hrůša’s massive desk in a sunny, spacious office at the headquarters of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia in the center of Prague. Chief conductor and music director Hrůša, an energetic, vibrant 30-something, sits comfortably…

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Where to Go: Your January Calendar

It looks like 2015 begins – at last! — with snow in Prague, but will it continue? who knows? Regardless of the weather, tons of gorgeous classical events await you here in January. Check our January Calendar, then put on your boots and go! Two famous composers have special birthday observations this month. Mozart’s birthday is observed Jan 27 with the traditional concert in his honor at the Theatre of…

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Christmas 2014

What if … everyone in the world knew how to play a musical instrument? That’s what we began to think about as the holiday season began to descend upon us. So we’ve compiled our vision of what could happen, and we’ve put it into pictures. Click on the slide show below to see it. . . . . . Opus Osm will be back after the holidays, in early January,…

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Prague Chamber Ballet: 50 Years of Grace

The Prague Chamber Ballet Celebrates its Golden Anniversary ‘The 50th Anniversary Gala of Ballet Prague’ offered a montage of finest moments from the now-named Prague Chamber Ballet at the Estates Theater Nov 16. Despite facing many struggles over the years, from Communist occupation to finding a permanent performance space, the evening’s dancers showed that hardships had no effect on the quality of work. Featured pieces included choreography by Pavel Šmok,…

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Opera Nás Baví Means We Like Opera

The theatre is full of children, with their parents and grandparents. We’re here to learn about Czech composer Zdeněk Fibich’s opera. But who really knows what to expect? While we wait to begin, we can only observe the beautiful space in the National Theatre this Nov 9th, and the commotion around it. But this commotion has a certain order. The founder of Children’s Opera Prague, Prof. Jiřina Marková’s littlest opera…

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Just in Time for Christmas

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Opus Osm has several tips for gifts that will please, and at the same time support classical Czech arts and artists. It’s never too early – nor too late – to select a special gift for the holiday season. And these days, online shopping makes that annual shopping event even easier. More Czech venues are becoming skilled at operating up-to-date websites, and many have…

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Home Sweet Homecomings

Theatergoers in Prague don’t have to travel far to see the country’s finest dancers onstage, especially when the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre comes to town… A traveling performance from Ostrava, “Homecomings” at Prague’s National Theater November 2 was a homecoming in more ways than one. The music of three Czech composers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries was presented in three fresh interpretations from some of the finest contemporary…

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Clubbing with The Berg

The latest Berg Orchestra concert of contemporary classical music took place in the basement of the Roxy Club Nov 4. It only left us wanting more. The main instruments of the evening were strings, backed by an occasional keyboard, and percussion instruments, whose layered textures made tonal collages that thrilled and excited. The highlight of the evening was the premiere of Miloš Orsoň Štědroň’s Rock for Guitar and Strings. The…

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Making Words and Making Music

Anyone who listens to classical music knows that some pieces are good – and some are brilliant. Lucie Rohanová describes how pianist Michal Mašek also uses words to achieve this difference for a live audience. We who do not have any musical education — but only the love and enthusiasm for classical music — are in a difficult position when we want to talk about the music we’ve just heard….

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Christmas Comes to Prague: December Events

The Christmas season is rapidly approaching, so it’s never too early to take a look at the concerts and other events awaiting you in Prague in December. Whether you’re visiting for a few days and want to enjoy some culture, looking for refreshing Christmasy activities to get you into the spirit, or you’d just like to chill with an excellent performance during your break from the hassles of everyday work…

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Powered by Two: Music for Saxophone and Accordion

Think you know the saxophone and the accordion? As a duo, maybe not! Six German and Czech composers brought an innovative and novel approach to this unusual combination of instruments at the 6th Czech-German festival ‘New Music Powered by Two’ at Pálffy Palace Oct 23. The work was assigned by Ladislav Horák, the festival’s founder, accordionist, promoter of contemporary music, and professor at Prague Conservatory. He played all the accordion…

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‘La Bayadere’ Brings Indian Influence to Prague’s National Theater

Choreographer Javier Torres returns to the Czech National Ballet to present La Bayadére (The Temple Dancer), an old, old love story set in exotic India. La Bayadére’s original Petipa choreography, set to a Minkus score, premiered in St Petersburg in 1877, but “The traditional story is a little bit more superficial than what I’m doing,” Javier Torres began, clearly tired but still energized and friendly after an evening rehearsal. He…

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