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This summer's most eagerly awaited and closely observed event in the field of contemporary music was - unsurprisingly - the tenth edition of the Ostrava Days biennial. Over ten days and sixteen concerts, the festival presented pieces by towering figures of the 20th and 21st centuries as well as composers at the beginning of their career, and also several world premieres by established Czech composers. Three of these were concertante pieces - the 1 st movement of Petr Cigler's Horn Concerto, Michal Rataj's MOVIS for piano and orchestra, and Wednesdays at RW on Spring Street for violin and chamber orchestra by Petr Kotik, the festival's artistic director. The last two Czech world premieres were by Petr Bakla: No. 4 for piano and There Is An Island Above The City, performed at the closing concert by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.

As for opera, the most remarkable feat was the Czech premiere of the interactive opera Be My Superstar by Austrian-Czech composer Simon Vosecek. This work, based on Yann Verburgh's play H.S. - Tragedies Ordinaires, is intended for "anyone above fourteen years of age". Focusing on the topic of bullying, the opera was first produced under Alexandra Lacroix's direction at LOD Studio Ghent and at the Operosa Montenegro Opera Festival in Montenegro.

Czech music was also heard at one of the most prestigious musical competitions in the world, ARD in Munich, where the semifinals of the cello category included (as a compulsory piece) Like Ella by Martin Smolka.

22 June 2019. The Barns, Vienna, Virginia, USA. Wolf Trap Opera. Viktor Ullmann: The Emperor of Atlantis (premiere of a new production). Directed by: Richard Gammon, music director: Geoffrey McDonald. Following performances: 26, 28, and 30 Jun 2019.

23 June 2019. Piarist Church of the Finding of the Holy Cross, Litomysl. Smetana's Litomysl. Slavomir Horinka: Ave Maria (world premiere). Prague Philharmonic Children's Choir, artistic director: Pavel Perina, conductor: Jiri Chvala.

29 June 2019. Assembly Hall, Chateau Kromeriz, Kromeriz. Forfest. Jiri Lukes: Ichimoku cloud (world premiere). Ensemble Konvergence.

29 June 2019. Glyndebourne, United Kingdom. Glyndebourne Festival. Antonin Dvorak: Rusalka (premiere of a new production). Directed by: Melly Still, music director: Robin Ticciati. Following performances: 4, 7, 11, 17, 20, 26, and 31 Jul, 7, 12, 16, and 21 Aug 2019.

30 June 2019. St. Maurice Church, Kromeriz. Forfest. Radim Bednarik: Meditation for Organ (world premiere). Karel Martinek - organ.

5 July 2019, Herkulessaal, Munich Residenz, Munich, Germany. Musica Viva. Miroslav Srnka: Speed of Truth for clarinet, choir and orchestra (world premiere). Jorg Widmann - clarinet, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (choirmaster Peter Dijkstra), Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, conductor: Susanna Malkki.

20 July 2019, Holy Trinity Church, Kuks. Kuks Music Summer. Eduard Dousa: Phantasia Kuksensis de Virtutis a Fuga baroque (world premiere). Wactav Golonka - organ.

7 August 2019, Large Hydraulic Hall - Masaryk Water Research Institute, Prague. Music for Sirens... micro-concerts with the emergency siren test. Sirene & Water (world premiere). Concept/music: Petr Hora. Josef Hrebfk - accordion, Pavla Radostova, Bronislava Smrzova - voice.

14 August 2019, LOD Studio, Ghent, Belgium. Simon Vosecek: Be My Superstar (world premiere of an interactive opera). Directed by: Alexandra Lacroix. Libretto based on a play by Yann Verburgh, H.S. - Tragedies Ordinaires: Aida Gabriels, Alexandra Lacroix. Astrid Stockman (soprano), Logan Lopez Gonzalez (countertenor), SPECTRA, and electronics. Following performances: 21 and 22 Aug, Operosa Montenegro Opera Festival, Dvorana Park, Herceg Novi, Montenegro.

25 August 2019, Triple Hall Karolina, Ostrava. Ostrava Days. Petr Cigler: Horn Concerto, 1st movement, Michal Rataj: MOVIS - concerto for piano and orchestra (world premieres). Ondrej Vrabec - French horn, Daan Vandewalle - piano, ONO / Ostrava New Orchestra, conductor: Bruno Ferrpndis.

28 August 2019, BrickHouse, Hlubina Coal Mine, Ostrava. Ostrava Days. Petr Bakla: No. 4 (world premiere). Miroslav Beinhauer - piano.

30 August 2019, Triple Hall Karolina, Ostrava. Ostrava Days. Petr Kotik: Wednesdays at RW on Spring Street (world premiere). Hana Kotkova - violin, Ostravska banda, conductor: Petr Kotfk.

30 August 2019. Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, Litomerice. Litomeficke svatky hudby. Jiri Kabat: Vivat Litomerice (world premiere). Pilsen Philharmonic, conductor: Jiri Kabat.

31 August 2019. Triple Hall Karolina, Ostrava. Ostrava Days. Petr Bakla: There Is An Island Above The City (world premiere). Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor: Peter Rundel.

4 September 2019. Jan Deyl Conservatory, Prague. Music for Sirens... micro-concerts with the emergency siren test. Staircase (world premiere). Concept / music: Jiff Lukes. Vera Kestfankova - bass clarinet, Stepan Janousek - trombone, Tomas Mika - electric guitar.

10 September 201 9, Prinzregententheater, Munich. ARD-Musikwettbewerb, cello category, semifinals. Martin Smolka: Like Ella (world premiere). A compulsory piece played by six semi-finalists including the winner, Haruma Sato.

by Barbora Vackova
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Title Annotation:calendarium
Author:Vackova, Barbora
Publication:Czech Music
Article Type:Opera review
Geographic Code:4EXCZ
Date:Jul 1, 2019
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