What to See, Hear, Watch: Your April Calendar
You can find out what, when, and where they are by checking our Events Calendar at the top right of every Opus Osm page. Here are just a few highlights:
Of course, it wouldn’t be spring without the glorious music of Easter, whether in church services or concerts.
A true Czech and international classic, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Opus 58 will be performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK), Jakub Klecker conducting, with the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno, Apr 1 at The Municipal House. Dvořák began the work in 1876 in reaction to the death of his daughter Josefa; shortly thereafter, two more of his children died, and the work was finally completed in 1877. Just a few years later the piece was performed in Brno, conducted by Leoš Janáček.
The Czech Philharmonic performs Gustav Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony, No 2 three evenings, Apr 1-3. First performed in 1895, the work was inspired by a poem which was partly rewritten by Mahler himself (“Oh Death, You master of all things, Now you are conquered!”). The performance features Simona Houda-Šaturová, soprano, and Bernarda Fink, alto, with Jiří Bělohlávek conducting.
At the glorious Church of Sts Simon & Jude on Apr 6, the Czech Ensemble Baroque will perform cantatas and motets from Bach, on period instruments. As a konzertmeister in Weimar, part of Bach’s job description required that he compose one cantata every month. So his output for Easter Monday, 1714, gives us the cantata chorus (BWV 172, “Ring out, you songs; sound, you strings!”). Also on the program, the cantata chorus for the 2nd day of Easter (BWV 6, “Stay with us, for evening falls”); this one was composed in 1725 during his second year in Leipzig.
And Now for Something Completely Different …
If you’re ready to explore the classics in a slightly different mode, April offers you several unique opportunities.
The Czech National Ballet reprises a performance of the spooky, eerie ballet The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Čarodějův Učeň or Krabat) Apr 15-16 at the National Theatre. It’s a compelling story of black magic and mystery, told in memorable, accessible dance, with unforgettable scenery, costumes, and staging.The State Opera also ventures into old, dark folk tales with its premiere of the opera Hansel & Gretel (Jeníček a Mařenka) Apr 23-24 at the State Opera. A repeat performance is offered Apr 25.
You probably don’t need an introduction to the original Grimm brothers’ tale, and perhaps you know the opera version by Humperdinck; but this time we expect yet something else different with the libretto and direction by Matěj Forman and team.
Next, you can explore the use of both sides of your brain with the PKF – Prague Philharmonia’s latest instalment in its ‘Beauty of Today’ series at the Roxy NoD theatre, Apr 28. The concert of music by Iannis Xenakis focuses on mathematics and music, and includes an introductory presentation (in Czech) on the topic.
Finally, on Apr 28 the Church of Sts Simon & Jude will again offer a special concert. Internationally-known, Czech-young-generation violinist Pavel Šporcl, also known for his performances of Gypsy music, this time performs three sonatas by Johannes Brahms. — oo
Photo Credits: Top: Zuzana Pernicová; bottom, The State Opera