Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Arts in Prague

Hi Everyone,

Finally, I have a chance to make a post! We’ve been busy here the past few days, and our Internet connection has also been off and on for some reason that we can’t figure out! So, today I’ll get you caught up with what has been going on!

Saturday, my husband and I went to see the open-air performance of Rusalka—an opera written by the famous Czech composer, Antonín Dvořák, based on a Slavic fairy tale. According to sources I researched online, a rusalka is something like a wood nymph or fairy…or even possibly a mermaid-like demon that lives in a body of water. Looking up “rusalka” made for some very interesting reading! Anyway, Dvořák’s opera is based on a poem written by Jaroslav Kvapil (1868-1950). Kvapil’s poem was based on the written fairy tales of Karel Jaromír Erben and Božena Nĕmcova. Some of the plot is very similar to the Little Mermaid, with a heroine (who is not mortal) falling in love with a mortal prince, and having to face the consequences of that love. Here you can find a synopsis of the opera. We saw the opera performed, open-air, in the beautiful park of Divoka Šarka, in Prague 6—in the north-western part of the city. The park boasts beautiful, unspoiled nature--forests, streams, natural lakes, hiking trails, a public pool system…and an amphitheater, in a forest—not far from the city center! Divoka Šarka is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon—and it proved to be a great place to see Rusalka, too!

I’m not sure how many people were there on Saturday, but it was easily two to three thousand. The floor of the bowl of the amphitheater was the stage for the production of Rusalka. I was very impressed with the sound system they set up for the orchestra and the singers. It was possible to clearly hear the singers, along with the orchestra—with no problem. There was really no space for a backdrop, but the natural surroundings of the park made a perfect backdrop for the opera. The day was a bit hot, but there was enough shade from all the trees around the amphitheater. This was my very first opera—ever—and I loved every minute of it, even though I couldn’t understand all the Czech. It was a beautiful production. You can see some of the pictures (above) from the performance of Rusalka.

Monday evening, a friend of mine offered some symphony tickets to Jiří and I! That was a very unexpected and great surprise! So, we went to the Rudolfinum to hear the Czech Philharmonic. They played wonderfully—it made our evening very special, when we had just planned on spending a normal evening at home!

Prague is full of performances like this most days—you can find opera, chamber music, symphonies, etc being performed in many of the historical palaces and theaters around Prague. This is one of the things I just love about Prague! Its possible to afford and attend these types of performances. In the past, the places I lived, it was so expensive to visit the theater, or hear an orchestra or watch a ballet. Now, though, since moving to Prague, I’ve had many more opportunities to experience more of the arts than ever before in my life. So, I’m taking full advantage of these opportunities when they come along!

That’s all for today…you all have a great day!

God bless,

Sherry :0)

© 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath

All photos and video are property of S. A. Vacik

1 comment:

Karen said...

Oh Sherry, this is just the motivation I need to keep packing for Prague!