The International Opera Festival Smetana’s Litomyšl
The International Opera Festival Smetana’s Litomyšl is second only to the Prague Spring festival as the oldest music festival in the Czech Republic (founded in 1949) and is also the largest festival of classical music under the open sky to take place in our country. It takes place every year in late June and early July, right in the house where the composer Bedřich Smetana was born – in the grounds of the Litomyšl chateau. Every year, multiple dramatic performances, which, apart from operas, also include concerts, orations and staged musical projects, bring more than 13,000 guests into the audience, which is enthralled by the excellent acoustics of the second courtyard and the unique atmosphere of the garden amphitheater.
The festival is organized by the city of Litomyšl. It has established a public benefit corporation, Smetanova Litomyšl, in cooperation with the Pardubice region, the Czech Ministry of Culture and the National Heritage Institute of Pardubice.
Young Smetana’s Litomyšl
Musical Youth of the Czech Republic organizes a festival of classical and contemporary music by young artists for young audiences. Membership is not required for participation.
The program takes place in all the available concert and theater venues in the city – Smetana’s house, the chateau, the church, the chateau brewery, the monastery gardens and others.
The traditional highlight of the festival is always the Dahlia Ball.
International violin courses
During the summer holidays in Litomyšl please note the regularly scheduled courses of Professor Milan Vítek. They are designed for students of conservatories and universities. The results of the intensive study of the violin can be heard at concerts for the public.
Professor Milan Vítek worked from 1974 as a professor of violin at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen and from 1992 as a visiting professor at the Music Academy in Gothenburg. Since August 2001 he has been the permanent professor of violin at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, USA. Czech audiences also know him as a conductor who makes regular guest appearances but mostly appears with the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Toulovcovy Summer Holiday Fridays
The goal of the marathon fairy tale and folk concerts which take place every Friday during the summer holidays is to enliven the summer holidays in Litomyšl and to give the townspeople and also summer holiday visitors a small gift in the form of an evening spent relaxing. The main characteristic of the Toulovcovy Summer Holiday Fridays is their regularity – every Friday, same time (18:00 fairy tale, 19:30 band), same place. The venue is Toulovec Square, otherwise known as Špitálek. Previously a hospital stood there, to which a wealthy Litomyšl citizen, Vavřinec Toulovec from Třemošná, contributed a great annual sum; it became the foundation of the large estate of the town of Litomyšl.
The character of Toulovec is shrouded in legend – from a god-fearing citizen he became a robber knight in folklore. According to legend, he undertook marauding expeditions and he hid from his pursuers with his treasures in the Budislav rocks, in Toulovec’s stables. Can you imagine a more mysterious backdrop for a performance by theater groups and folk bands?
In the event of inclement weather the performance takes place in the Kotelna Music Club.
Admission to all events is by voluntary donation and all the proceeds are always sent to the account of the Civil Society Development Foundation Pomozte dětem (Help the Children)!
International music courses (MIK) and meeting of the Friends of Chamber Music
The 35th annual MIK and meeting of the Friends of Chamber Music is an opportunity for students and graduates of all types of art schools and for advanced amateurs to gain additional summer education and to meet significant Czech and foreign educators and performers. There is the opportunity to have individual lessons on the piano, violin, viola, violoncello, double bass and flute, chamber or orchestral music. Approximately 50 participants and 11-13 teachers.
Part of the long-term project is the cycle of 10 evening chamber concerts in the Congress Hall in the chateau and in the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Povýšení sv. Kříže church) for all from Litomyšl and its surroundings who are interested.