Compact archive July 9, 2008

Opera Mozart at The Estates Theatre

The summer season of the Opera Mozart at The Estates Theatre has been the highpoint of Prague’s cultural life for nearly a decade. During that time, there has been a revolution against the overly conservative opera productions of the 1980s, leading to the birth of a professional artistic ensemble that, in spite of having given thousands of performances, is still maintaining an avant-garde approach to creation and to non traditional productions, and its continually giving many young artists the opportunity to confront classical opera and the opera world’s leading personalities.

The list of productions has included not only such world famous operas as Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, or Cosi fan tutte, but also lesser-known, rarely Mozart’s operas like la clemenza di Tito and Il re pastore (Czech premiere – Opera Mozart, 15th August 1999).

Thanks to the universality of the operatic genre and the attractiveness of Mozart’s operas, as well as to the professionalism of the organisation behind Opera Mozart, the company has made a stable place for itself in the world of the arts. Online tickets at Ticketportal, performances every day.

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Opposers of the Radar had a big day yesterday.

If Franz Kafka would be living, he would be surprised, and maybe got some inspiration for a new book. The year is 2008, exactly 40 years from the Russian occupation. Meanwhile humanists devote their efforts to commemorate the victims of communism, Jiri Paroubek from CSSD invited a Russian general, to speak against the US Base. The Kafka-like fact is, he invited the general to the building of the former Lenin Museum, and they let him speak literally at the same place where Lenin declaimed war at American Imperialism in 1912 at the opening ceremony.

Why is Jiri Paroubek against the radar ? He says “… the new American administrative won’t be going on crusades like the present one.” Crusades? Who used this before? Of course, it was Osama Bin Laden. To connect Lenin and Osama, just to get publicity or whatever, seems very Kafka to me. Inspired by article by Zbynek Petracek

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The Mair Radar treaty signed yesterday

The historic moment, which is by its supporters labeled as similar to the Marshall Plan, by the opposers to Russian occupation in 1968, took place yesterday. Karel Schwarzenberg and Condoleezza Rice met in Prague to sign the main treaty about the us military base at Czech territory. The main purpose of the base is to locate possible flying military rockets that could be fired e.g. from Iran.

The contract yet needs to be signed by the parliament, which means its future is not 100% clear – the opposition would do anything to stop the radar form being build. Jiri Parobek invited a Russian General to speak about the dangers of cooperating with the US military, there was a demonstration on the Wenceslas square. And it wouldn’t be Russia, not to threaten the CR with use of their militia, so also their diplomacy send some new threats.

The ruling part of the Parliament has a reason to celebrate, but the matter is not over yet. The main show is to come, when the treaty is to be agreed by the whole Parliament.

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Questions and Answers about the US Radar base in the CR

What has to be done yet?
If the radar is to be build, the politicians have to sign and accredit two international contracts. The main agreement was signed yesterday by Karel Schwarzenberg and Condoleezza Rice. The second contract is the Agreement between the Czech Republic and the USA about the status of military forces, so called SOFA. The negotiations continue, for example the problem of taxes is still not solved.

What is the resume of the main contract?
The Americans commit themselves to, using the anti-rocket defense, protect the Czech Republic against the possible attack of ballistic rockets. The Maximal number of soldiers present at the base is 250. The main command is in the hands of the USA anti-rocket defense department.

When the contract actually start to apply?
When it is ratified by the parliament.

How does the radar work?
Radar should be able to ‘see’ a military rocket about four minutes after it starts. It does it by continually transmitting radio waves. Source: LN

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Prague charity project - buy a brick, help to build

You may have noticed it when walking through the streets of Prague. It looks like a rather strange happening with a chimney-like structure in the middle of the street. This “chimney” is made of colorful bricks which are covered with names and pictures. The people who hold a patrol there many try you and ask if you are able to pull it down, but I have seen may people trying, and even when the bricks are not glued or anything, the round structure holds firmly.

You can notice various signatures and pictures at the bricks, which were written by people who contribute to the charity project. The Brick Action is a fund-raising action of a civic organization called Portus Praha. The aim of this organization is to help people with mental handicaps to live normal lives and integrate them into everyday life of the society.

The places where it is possible to see them would be e.g. Old Town Square and at the bottom end of Wenceslas Square. You can’t miss it. Read one here

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