The Prague Summer Nights is a program presented by Classical Movements that was founded as a way to develop young artists from all over in one of the musical centers on the planet – Prague.
The program now in its third year has expanded and this year has been quite the ride for all the artists involved, spanning three locations and a plethora of activities.
The festival began in Tabor, a small town and intimate setting that allowed the singers to start workshopping and staging the two productions that were being worked on, “Die Zauberflöte” and “Le Nozze di Figaro.” During the time, the singers also had the chance to perform a recital of songs in an intimate theater that allowed them to interact with the audience. For many, it was also their first taste of a real Czech audience. The orchestral players also had a chance to perform a concert in the town and even obtained a standing ovation that forced them to do an encore.
After their time in Tabor, the artists flew over to Prague where they moved into rehearsal rooms at the Hotel Olsanka and worked with their coaches and directors. It was time to start staging as opening night of both “Die Zauberflöte” and ‘Le Nozze di Figaro” drew ever closer. But that did not mean that the young artists didn’t have time to explore. Within their busy schedules, the singers got to take in the city which has three opera houses, a multitude of concert halls and a musical history that rivals that of Austria and Berlin. While this year they were not able to sing at the Estates Theater, the artists had the chance to sing at the “St. Simon & Judes Church where Hayden and Mozart both performed. Each opera was given a tech rehearsal and a full dress rehearsal. Two performances of “Le Nozze di Figaro” with two casts were performed while one of “Die Zauberflöte” also got one show.
This year the festival is adding yet another venue to the program – Salzburg. The festival is moving to the Mozarteum, which has a history in itself and is where the Salzburg Festival is performed every summer. The productions of “Le Nozze di Figaro” and “Die Zauberflote” will be semi-staged and while there will not be enough time as in Prague, the singers will have the chance to rehearse and perform in one of the most legendary theaters in the world. Additionally, they will be performing for one of the most demanding European audiences. It is the opportunity of a lifetime, particularly for those that are singing their first roles. What a way to begin their opera careers!