Monday, March 4, 2013

Praha 6

There is a vibrant arts scene in Prague.  People dress up to attend performances and children were amazingly well behaved.  The audience is spirited in their cheers, bravos and clapping.  The smattering of tourists were easily spotted as we weren't as formally dressed (I stuck with Black) and spoke something other than perfect Czech.  Complimentary coat checks were abundant at theatres and art galleries.  Prosecco is drank along with open faced sandwiches at intermission.  You can order it ahead of time.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.  The online system is surprisingly advanced and easy to use.  I bought 2 tickets and printed them out at home.  And the third from the box office.  I got to enjoy Swan Lake, Turandot and Cavalleria rusticanaI pagliacci at the State Opera House. 

All my tickets (very good seats @ 900 Kc each) did not amount to what I've paid for one ticket (mid orchestra) at the MET.  Supreme value for the quality of the performances (creative and visually stunning for a smaller stage!) and extensive repertoire.  I've seen different renditions of the above over the years and was impressed enough, I would return to Prague just for this.

This city has more than one opera and ballet company!  I didn't have a chance to hear the Czech Philharmonic nor take in concerts at the numerous churches or hall settings put by smaller groups.  You'll see people handing out flyers for the concerts of the day all over the core. 

One very special exhibit is on right now (since May 2012) til the end of the year -- Alfons Mucha's Slovanska Epopej (The Slav Epic).  This is a collection of 20 huge paintings depicting the history and struggles of the Slavic people.  I tried to show the scale on the photos below but it is really something to witness in person.

The booklet you get with admission describes with fantastic detail each panel.  At the end of the exhibit, there is a 27 min video depicting the controversy with the ownership of the collection.  The town that had 5 of the panels has accused the city of Prague of stealing....The setting is quite dim which adds to the mood of the pieces,  most of which are very sombre.  See what I mean about the haunting quality?  (Picture quality not great due to lack of lighting and no flash allowed.  There is way more detail in each painting.)

Please note: The Slovanska Epopej is not being exhibited at the Mucha Museum. (Prague 1)  It is held at the Veletrzni Palace. (Prague 7)

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