Pilsen 2015: Nine Weeks of Baroque

Phenomenal Baroque gems of the Pilsen Region will come to life for nine weeks this summer with period music, theatre, flavours and fragrances.

Baroque nights with period fireworks, top musical productions, modern and period funfairs, church concerts, community events in the landscape, revived tours of Baroque chateaux and guided town tours. All of this is offered as part of the '9 Weeks of Baroque' festival, which will present its rich programme for 63 days at 63 locations around the Pilsen Region. Day after day, the festival will uncover the riches of West Bohemian Baroque and enable visitors to experience the period atmosphere with all their senses. The largest festival of Baroque culture in the Czech Republic is organised by Pilsen 2015 in collaboration with fifty regional partners, under the auspices of the Czech Minister of Culture Daniel Herman, and will take place from 29 June to 30 August 2015.

"The Pilsen Region is the meeting place of the architects Santini and Dientzenhofer; the Baroque landscape here has its own unique atmosphere and churches, monasteries and towns are awaiting visitors. The '9 Weeks of Baroque" festival brings unique opportunities to encounter Baroque and modern culture in the environment of Baroque monuments and aims to make a brand out of West Bohemian Baroque that people from all around Europe will want to visit," says the Czech Minister of Culture Daniel Herman.

The quality of West Bohemian Baroque is of European significance. We are very honoured to introduce this gem to the general public. When selecting the programme, we bore in mind families with children, young people, adults, seniors, cultural tourists, classical music experts, and domestic and foreign visitors. 63 days of continuous programmes at 63 different places is a huge organisational task which has been prepared for a long time on the basis of region-wide cooperation. We are building on our experience with the first season of '6 Weeks of Baroque' which took place last year. Baroque monuments will play host to 120 artistic companies, artists and performers this year. The theme also resonates with the most significant event of the year, the 900th anniversary of the founding of the Kladruby Monastery. We are all interested in seeing how the popularity of the festival will be reflected in the rate of tourists visiting the region. Come and discover the beauty of West Bohemian Baroque. Your visit will be a fitting reward for the dozens of regional partners who are working to preserve our heritage: monument owners and curators, castle managers, historians, organisers, mayors, associations and local action groups," says the Festival Manager Kateřina Melenová.

The programme is divided into weekly cycles that each week will focus on one area. The first week will be symbolically opened in the area of Nepomuk and Spálené Poříčí, the cradle of the most famous Czech saint, St John of Nempomuk. The following week, the programme will move on to the Klatovy Region and the main themes will be the Jesuits and the miracle of the Klatovy Madonna. Chotěšov and Přeštice will be the third area, introduced at the crossroads of pilgrimage routes by another miraculous Madonna - Divotvůrkyně Přeštická. The area of Tachov and Planá will invite visitors for walks to springs and Baroque pilgrimages. The Domažlice Region is connected with the tradition of the Chods, a living folklore with Baroque roots. The area of Stříbro and Kladruby is dominated by the Kladruby Monastery, celebrating the 900th anniversary of its founding, and Baroque chateaux. Santini's stars shine brightly in the area of Plasy, Mariánská Týnice and Radnice. The landscape of Baroque statues is adorned by a pearl, the chateau in Manětín, which will enchant visitors to Nečtiny and Manětín. The festival will be concluded in the area of Sušice, in the landscape beneath the wings of the Guardian Angel.

Visitors can look forward to Baroque nights with period fireworks, top musical productions and tasty samples of Czech cuisine. The main programme in each of the nine areas will take place on weekends and will offer several large musical events. The cherry on the cake will be the revived premiere of the Baroque coronation opera by J J Fux, "Constanza e Fortezza", in a historically faithful replica of a Baroque theatre, performed by Musica Florea & Florea Theatrum in Světce u Tachova. This will be followed by J S Bach’s "Mass in B minor" performed by Collegium 1704 in the Kladruby Monastery, the Baroque puppet opera by F Cavalli, "La Calisto", performed by Collegium Marianum & Buchty a loutky in Zelená Hora u Nepomuku, and a concert of Four Seasons by A Vivaldi performed by Gabriela Demeterová and Ensemble 18+ in Mariánská Týnice.

"The 9 Weeks of Baroque festival will present the biggest stars of the Czech Baroque scene. Jana Semerádová will open the festival with the comedy La Callisto, Marek Štryncl will present the famous (Prague) coronation opera Costanza e Fortezza, and Václav Luks will pay tribute to Bach's brilliant Mass in B minor. We will also present the acumen of Jiří Stivín, the temperament of Gabriela Demeterová and the dexterity of Roman Válek," says Markéta Cukrová, the Music Editor of the '9 Weeks of Baroque" festival.

Evenings of Baroque entertainment - Baroque nights and celebrations - will take place in Baroque chateaux and parks (Kozel, Zelená Hora, Manětín, Horažďovice) as well as in sacral surrounds (the Jesuit college and the church in Klatovy, the Kladruby Monastery, the church in Mariánská Týnice, the monastery in Chotěšov). Visitors to the festival can also expect extraordinary experiences at a Baroque estate (Gigant Záluží u Stodu) and Baroque fairs (St Anne's Church in Planá, the Chapel of the Guardian Angel in Sušice).

63 festival days at 63 locations could not have been organised without extensive collaboration with fifty main regional partners and many other local supporters. They have been responsible for setting up all of the backstage facilities as well as the programmes at 50 places.

You can find detailed information on the festival's website www.baroko2015.cz

Pilsen 2015 - European Capital of Culture: www.plzen2015.cz/en/

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