Fans of UK classical music festivals who read our blog will know that we here at the Two Moors Festival have just enjoyed a very lovely five days exploring the musical side of Prague. To celebrate our return, we thought we’d dedicate our latest Monday moodboard to this wonderful city and all the things just waiting to be discovered. We had a brilliant time, looking around the Estates Theatre, St Nicholas’ Church, eating deep-fried cheese, frankfurters and sampling some of the lovely beer on offer – we’ll definitely be returning!
And if you want to find out more about our trip away, make sure you pop back to the blog tomorrow so you can see some of the photos we took while there.
While we were in Prague, we decided we just couldn’t go home without paying the Estates Theatre – Mozart’s own theatre – a visit and booked ourselves in for a performance of The Magic Flute. Undeniably one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe – inside and out! – officially opened in 1783 and its name has become inextricably linked with Mozart, who himself conducted the world premiere of Don Giovanni here in 1787.
The world premiere of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito also took place here in 1791 to honour the coronation of Leopold II. It was amazing being inside such a beautiful building with such historical and musical significance, and we really enjoyed the performance of The Magic Flute… but more about that later this week, so don’t forget to check back on the blog.
2. Cafe Mozart
Being such a musical city, it’s unsurprising that many of the restaurants in Prague have combined classical music with fine dining.. and one of the best is Cafe Mozart, which is also perfectly placed for amazing views of the Old Town Hall Tower’s astronomical clock (make sure you’re there on the hour so you can see how it chimes it out… although it’s not quite as spectacular a sight as we were hoping for, particularly given how intricate and beautiful the clock itself is).
Whether you want a full meal or just one of Prague’s delicious cakes, Cafe Mozart is a brilliant choice for filling rumbling tummies while enjoying classical music or jazz. We only popped in for a moment so didn’t hear anything, but we did go a few doors down for dinner and were serenaded by a travelling band playing Romany versions of Smetana and Brahms while we supped over a plate of pasta, which was a lot of fun!
Unsurprisingly, Prague is renowned for its music festivals and the next one coming up is the Prague Spring International Music Festival, taking place between the 24th May and the 3rd June. There are some brilliant performers taking to the stage this year, from the Pavel Haas Quartet to Andreas Scholl. We’re also excited to see that acclaimed pianist Lang Lang will be joining the Wiener Philharmonic in a concert dedicated to Richard Strauss.
Street music in Prague is a thriving industry and wherever you go – particularly in the more touristy parts, such as Old Town – you’ll come across musicians, singers and variety acts… so keep a few coins at the ready. The weather was absolutely glorious when we were there so we spent many a happy hour sitting on benches and in cafes listening to different groups. We particularly enjoyed a trumpet and euphonium mash-up in the square. If you want to make sure you hear a wide variety, pull up a pew at Cafe Kafka near the Old Town square and just wait – the line-up changes periodically and you’ll have a lovely soundtrack to relax to as you soak up the summer sun.
You can’t pay Prague a visit without noticing that the city has a penchant for puppets. Puppet theatre has enjoyed a long tradition in the region and can in fact be traced back to the Middle Ages. One of the biggest establishments in Prague is the National Marionette Theatre, found just a short stroll from the Old Town square, which puts on amazing performances of Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute using tall puppets and a lot of imagination. We were lucky enough to go to a performance of Don Giovanni – but you’ll have to come back to the blog later this week to find out just what went on… And we’ve got some very exciting Two Moors Festival news for you as well!