Your Opus Osm April 2016 Calendar

april 2016

Spring arrives in Prague — prime time for classical music, opera, and dance.

Sure, recordings are a great invention. Still, nothing beats a live performance. We were reminded of this by seeing the plump feather comforters and puffy big Czech feather pillows airing on balconies and windowsills Easter weekend.

Yes, you can still see this in little Czech villages (and some apartment towers in the cities), even in this polyester age. Preserving historic culture – and its effect on contemporary world arts – is important for inspiration and identity in this shrinking, homogenized world.

Fortunately, April brings in lots of ways, just in the big city of Prague alone, to savor the uniquely Czech arts of classic music and dance. Take a look at just a few examples:

The young generation of choreographers known as The DekkaDancers take the stage once again to show off their dance heritage, infused with unique ideas and talents, spiced with creativity and humor. See them Apr 3 at The Theatre of the Estates at 8 pm. Then at the younger edge of the young generation, top dancers studying at The Prague Dance Conservatory present their annual showcase, in Bohemia Ballet’s “Premiere” 2016 Apr 7 at The Theatre of the Estates, 7 pm.

Continuing with the generation theme, what do you suppose you could learn by watching three generations of cellists – performing together in one concert? Find out at The Atrium Apr 12 at 7:30 pm, when Jaroslav Kulhan, Matyáš Keller, and Jan Keller share the stage.

The Netherlands, Germany, Britain … all home to top orchestras conducted by Dutchman Jac Van Steen, who guests Apr 13-14 with The Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK). Also wowing the audience: Czech violinist Jan Mráček, together at The Municipal House, 7:30 pm.

420People

Nataša Novotná, Václav Kuneš in ‘Inferno,’ part of a Dante series

420People dance company’s co-choreographers share their latest inspiring work Apr 14, 18, with Nataša Novotná’s Portrait Parlé paired with Václav Kuneš’ Dante series installment, Paradiso. Apr 14, at Jatka 78, 7:30 pm; Apr 18, at Theatre NoD, 8 pm.

“Pulling the tail and strumming on my nerves” is perhaps not the most attractive slogan for Baroque music from the Chateau Kroměříž collection. But it certainly gets our attention. Eva Tornová, harpsichord, and Václav Návrat, Baroque violin, fearlessly aim to show the music’s symbolic and onomatopoeic beauty, in concert Apr 16 at The Atrium, 3 pm.

If you missed it the first time – or even if you didn’t – you get another chance now to savor the brilliance and excitement of Ohad Naharin’s choreography as The Czech National Ballet repeats decadance at The New Stage Apr 17 at 4 and 8 pm, and Apr 19 at 8 pm.

Prague Symphony Orchestra  (FOK)

Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK)

Koželuh? Kramář-Krommer? (Say that three times fast!) No, it’s not a Czech tongue-twister; they’re just two of the Czech Baroque master composers on the program in The Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) concert Apr 19, titled ‘Czechs in Vienna of the 18th Century.’ Meet them at The Church of Sts Simon & Jude at 7:30 pm.

You may remember soprano Raffaella Milanesi from her awesome appearance in the Czech/French film and its trailer about Josef Mysliveček, Zpověď zapomenutého (Confession of the Vanished) with Collegium 1704. The musicians are reunited for a concert of Handel cantatas Apr 20, 21 at 7:30 pm at the Church of St Anne at the Crossroads (Kostel sv Anna-Pražská Křižovatka).

It’s well-known that Mozart visited Prague several times and felt Bohemians understood and appreciated him unlike some of the Viennese. Two of his operas premiered here (La Clemenza di Tito, Don Giovanni), and the National Theatre Orchestra presents their music again, Apr 22 at 7 pm, right on the very stage where The Don got his start (The Theatre of the Estates).

And April will be a kind month to Bohuslav Martinů, with two performances you won’t want to miss. On Apr 24 Jiří Bělohlávek conducts The Prague Philharmonia (PKF) in the Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras; on the 27th-29th, the Czech composer’s Memorial to Lidice is presented by The Czech Philharmonic. Both performances are at The Rudolfinum, 7:30 pm.

And don’t forget, you can see all Prague’s April classical performances by clicking on the black “Calendar” tab at the top of the page. You can find individual performances by clicking on any orange date in the little calendar up in the top right corner. Enjoy! – oo

Photo Credits: Top: Zuzana Pernicová; all others, Opus Osm archive

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