Prague isn’t just the capital of the Czech Republic but a cultural capital par excellence with scores of opera houses, theaters, and arthouse cinemas making it for both the international and local audiences.
But the recent shuttering of these venues by Czech officials in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus has left the future of many organizations and scheduled performances uncertain.
Those who need a welcome distraction from the headlines will be pleased to discover that a number of actors, singers, artists, and theatre troupes will be offering virtual performances during the Czech Republic’s ongoing quarantine.
Among them is the Cirk La Putyka new circus ensemble, which will stream a recorded version of its performance Up End Down Symphony, accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic, on YouTube and Facebook for free at 20:00 on Wednesday, according to spokesperson Jiri Sedlak.
The ensemble headed by Rosta Novak Junior, which is dependent on the income from entrance fees, is also preparing a new circus studio for children, puppet fairy tales, evening performances broadcast live as well as a concert and recorded performances.
Slovak-born singer and musician Miroslav Zbirka, who is of partial English descent and lives in Prague, will be live streaming a concert to Facebook and Instagram from his home tonight at 9pm and is calling on his fans to write him what songs they would like to hear.
Czech violin virtuoso Pavel Sporcl will also be live streaming concerts from his living room (2,000 viewers saw the first concert); the next on takes place March 20. See here for more details and to buy tickets.
Artistic responses to the coronavirus can be viewed at the new Facebook page CoronArt, while several prominent Czech street artists and contemporary painters are sharing a 360-degree glimpse into their studio spaces including Pasta Oner.
Some other small theatres, such as the Kampa theatre and Divadlo Ponec will also broadcast their shows live on the web.
From the English-speaking community, teahouse and center for the local arts A Maze in Tchaiovna is currently inviting performers, artists and musicians to livestream shows, workshops and concerts over the quarantine period and are hoping to continue support of the arts scene in Prague.
Among the participating performers are Blood Love and Rhetoric Improv Comedy who will be live streaming their weekly show this Thursday; Sam KingDavis, who is giving a caricature workshop, and Emily Thiel from Yo Soy Indigo will be giving a concert from her self-quarantine.
A Maze in Tchaiovna owner Andrew Fell says, “We also plan to continue our Czech, Spanish and English lessons, guitar workshops in this manner.” Follow their Facebook page for further details.
Guy Roberts at Prague Shakespeare Company has created an Artist Relief Fund to help theatres and other artists during this time.
“For many in the arts the life of a freelancing artist is one of living paycheck to paycheck and cobbling together an existence from theatre, film, TV, voiceovers, teaching and other odd jobs. Many of your favorite artists have no savings, no retirement and nothing to fall back on. Even if they are physically healthy now they are at great risk because they have chosen to pursue art over security.”
To find out more about the project or make a donation see here.
As a special St. Patrick’s Day tribute, local musician Jamie Marshall is currently streaming live craic in the form of Van Morrison hits and other classic tunes from his Facebook page.
If you know of a project that will be performing via live feed or want to add your event to our article, let us know!