Two Days, Two Concerts
September 19, 2009

Concert scaffolding and tent in front of Our Lady Before Tyn Church

Wow I’ve been busy!  Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with my blog or my facebook photo posts.  My CELTA course is super-demanding and lesson planning takes up much of my free time during the week.  Fortunately, I’ve had enough free time to go to two special events in the last few days – an outdoor concert and an opera.

Astronomical Clock on the left, Old Town Square all around

On Thursday evening, Goran Bregović, a Serbian musican who is a big deal in the Balkan music world, played a free concert in Old Town Square.  I’d never heard of him, but apparently he’s very popular in Europe – my friends from class invited me to come out and so I did.  It was a huge concert and his band included an orchestra, sopranos (maybe it was altos), and a tuxedo-clad male choir.  The music was great! It was a fun mix of sounds from all types of music – polka-ish, electronic orchestra, middle-eastern, and so much more.  My friends from the CELTA course knew many of his songs, and I enjoyed it very much.  The atmosphere was very excited – so many people in Old Town Square – a modern electronic concert in the middle of this city center from the Middle Ages – how Prague is that!!

Last night, I had a great time going to see “Carmen” at the State Opera House.  This beautiful opera hall is right next to the National Museum near Wenceslas Square.  According to my guidebook, it was built in an attempt to rival the well-known gold-roofed National Theatre that sits by the Vltava River.  The State Opera House was gorgeous – in the 1980’s it underwent thorough renovation, and so now it looks straight out of the Victorian-ish era.

State Opera House

I went with two of my CELTA classmates as well as one of our EFL students from class.  I’m so happy everyone came!  We made it just in time – we were running up the many steep stairs to our 100kc (crown) seats as the Overture was raging on.  Yes – only 100kc – about $7 US.  Our original seats weren’t impressive, but after the first quarter we shifted over to seats with a great vantage point to see both the full orchestra and all of the actors.  It was amazing!  The story was very interesting and the music was thrilling!  I had heard much of the music before, whether in movies/TV or somewhere as background music at some point in my life.  The songs were intense, especially Carmen’s theme in the beginning (“love is like a bird, love is like a Gypsy child”), the lalalala song, and the Toreador song.  It was a wonderful opera!

Afterwards, our Czech friend had to go home, but my classmates and I found a lovely art-deco bar called Lucerna off of Wenceslas Square.  We had a nice conversation, some cake, some tea & coffee, and some wine, and then called it a night.  What a wonderful evening in Prague!  I definitely want to “culture myself” with more Opera – in particular “Tosca” and “Turandot” which will be playing next week – I hope I’ll have the time.  Cheers to the opera!

Curtain Call for "Carmen"