The circus is in town! Or at least a slimmed-down version of it. Continuing its run as the city’s new cultural hotspot, Výstaviště will host a nine-day street theater festival starting Wednesday that features a lot of traditional circus elements. There will be clowns, acrobats and other entertainment for the kids during the day, and music and pyrotechnics at night. In short, it’s starting to look a lot more like summer in Prague.
There’s music in the air – again, mostly at Výstaviště, where Tomáš Klus and Poletíme? will be rockin’ out at Lucerna’s new outdoor stage. For a change of pace and softer sounds, stop by Karlín Barracks to hear the Argentinian songstress Valentina Sandxval. Or for something truly different and refreshing, spend the late afternoon of Jan Hus Day at Vrtba Garden in Malá Strana, where the renowned Prague Philharmonic Choir will be performing choral excerpts from Czech operas.
Indoors, it’s also an excellent week for artistic inspiration. The Losers Cirque Company is bringing a dazzling dance piece to the normally hushed confines of the Convent of St. Agnes. And Museum Kampa has an absolute must-see exhibition about Milada Horáková, the heroic dissident who was executed by the communists after being put through a show trial that terrified the nation. The recent observance of the 70th anniversary of that event, with banners posted around the city and snippets of the trial broadcast over loudspeakers, was a reminder that freedom never comes without a cost.
The Czech Philharmonic did not rest during the shutdown, staging benefit concerts for hospitals and medical workers, and launching a summer chamber music series that features some very good players this week. On the club scene, Jazz Dock has been a standout, resuming a full schedule and offering a variety of music hard to find while travel remains limited. On Tuesday an impressive young talent, pianist Kristina Barta, takes the stage, while on Friday the Czech-Peruvian band Duende adds a Latin touch.
Still prefer to enjoy culture from the comfort of your couch? The online offerings remain strong, with a powerful Terence Rattigan drama from UK’s National Theatre and two promising encounters from Royal Albert Hall, with Justin Adams and Marian Hill. The flamenco festival continues with a fiery dancer from Andalusia. And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is returning to the ’60s with a tribute to the San Francisco Sound. The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane will never be in the category of political dissidents. But in their own way, they helped start a revolution that is still with us today.
Museum Kampa: Fusion and Repression
New exhibitions offer an unlikely pairing and a compelling reminder of life under communism
Lucerna Music Bar Outdoors: Tomáš Klus
The summer music series at Výstaviště continues with the Moravian singer-songwriter
Prague Philharmonic Choir at Vrtba Garden
Glorious music in one of the city’s loveliest green spaces
Czech Philharmonic Summer Concert Series: Buona Sera Quintetto
Five members of the orchestra offer superior musicianship and a light, accessible program
Kristina Barta at Jazz Dock
The award-winning pianist brings a preview of her new Event Horizon album
Lucerna Music Bar Outdoors: Poletíme?
Good-time music that defies classification: Delicate yet vulgar, sad yet cheerful, bitter and sweet
Street Theater Festival
Nine days of performances at Výstaviště with acrobats, clowns, puppets, floating apparitions and fire shows (pictured at top of the page)
Royal Albert Hall Home: Justin Adams
An exclusive set performed live from the guitarist and composer’s home
Flamenco de Sofa: Pol Vaquero
A colorful reminder that not all great flamenco dancing is done by women
UK National Theatre: Deep Blue Sea
A powerful drama from the pen of the late British playwright Terence Rattigan
Losers Cirque Company at the Convent of St. Agnes
An acrobatic modern dance performance in an inspirational setting
Valentina Sandxval at Karlín Barracks
The Argentine singer/songwriter brings a happy Latin vibe to Karlín
Czech Philharmonic Summer Concert Series: Josef Špaček and Miroslav Sekera
Another chance to catch two of the Czech Republic’s finest young classical musicians
Duende at Jazz Dock
An appealing mix of sounds and players from the Czech Republic and Peru
Royal Albert Hall Home: Marian Hill
An intimate hour of music and talk with the American alt-pop duo
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The San Francisco Sound
Relive the golden moments of the psychedelic era with these videos from the Rock Hall vaults