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Summer brings culture to the capital

AS is the summer tradition, expect to find a number of cultural happenings unfolding in the city's parks, buildings and streets as part of the Bratislava Summer of Culture and Old Town Summer Plays festivals.
Now in its 31st year, the Summer of Culture was prepared by the Bratislava Culture and Information Centre (BKIS). British musician Sting will open it in grand style on June 21

Expect ample swordfighting during the Bratislava Summer of Culture.
photo: Pavol Majer

AS is the summer tradition, expect to find a number of cultural happenings unfolding in the city's parks, buildings and streets as part of the Bratislava Summer of Culture and Old Town Summer Plays festivals.

Now in its 31st year, the Summer of Culture was prepared by the Bratislava Culture and Information Centre (BKIS). British musician Sting will open it in grand style on June 21. Joining in the ceremony are the Celtic Promenade Party, the Flamenco Evening and the Live Streets theatre festival.

The festival runs through September 20, with 190 events divided into 23 thematic cycles on 16 scenes performed by artists from 18 countries.

Within the Bratislava Castle Festivities in July, Bratislava Castle will host the Summer Shakespeare Festivities. This year's plays include As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice and Othello.

Slovak musicians Marián Varga and The Moyzes Quartet, Milan Lasica, The Bratislava Hot Serenades, Peter Breiner and the Tango trio will perform within the cycle Concerts in the Castle.

Visitors can also look forward to new programmes, such as Early Music, Meetings with Historical Bratislava or the Week with Theatre. For music lovers, there will be the Guitar Festival of JK Mertz in June and Days of Organ Music in August. The courtyard of the Old City Hall will host jazz concerts every Wednesday in July and August. Other cycles include the chamber music festivals Convergences and Music on Danube.

Children will be entertained with rides on a steam engine or a historical bus, as well as fairy tale shows in the Zoo in Mlynská dolina.

After last year's successful tour of a photo exhibition in a train, this unique movable gallery will arrive from the Czech Republic again. This time it will display photos of Antonín Kratochvíl, a prominent documentary photographer of Czech origin, who was granted the World Press Photo award.

The Bratislava's very centre, the Old Town municipality, has prepared its own programme entitled the Old Town Summer Plays. Between June 17 and September 30, a rich selection of musicals, dance performances, fine arts, theatre, literature and film events will be on offer.

The Old Town Culture Centre's director, Stanislav Bachleda, confirmed promenade concerts will return to Hviezdoslav Square, and sculptures and objects by international artists will fill galleries and open areas. Also expect a concert by tenor Peter Dvorský, the Latina Fiesta festival and the Coronation Festivities to reenact Bratislava's royal history during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

People will be able to practise yoga, tai-chi and other relaxation techniques at the Medická Garden, Bachleda said. Children will also have the opportunity to enjoy themselves, and special day camps and performances will take place in the Presidential Palace gardens.

"One innovation is the Polish Culture Days and a special Czech Day called the Wenceslas Pilgrimage," said Bachleda of the festival, which includes 152 events, and will feature 1,120 artists from 13 countries.

For more information, visit www.bkis.sk or www.staremesto.sk.


Prepared by Jana Liptáková

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