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British Council opens centre in Prešov

Ambassador MacGregor (right) toasts the opening of a new British Centre in Prešov.
photo: SITA

THE BRITISH Council opened a new British Centre at the PO Hviezdoslav Library in Prešov on January 25. It is the fourth such centre in Slovakia, after Bratislava, Banská Bystrica and Košice. The aim is to promote understanding between the countries' populations. The centre has a library that holds up to 800 books, CDs and videos, and could be expanded, the SITA news wire wrote. According to British Council director Huw Jones, the centre's cooperation with the PO Hviezdoslav Library makes it more than just a place to borrow books.

The British Centre will also host monthly reading groups on current English novels that non-natives can join to practice their English. Groups can choose which genre of literature to read. Jones expects the first will be detective stories, which have a long tradition in England. The British Council also offers workshops for English teachers and librarians.

A survey conducted by the British Council on a sample of about 2,000 respondents showed Slovaks want to learn English in order to find a better job and be able to chat on the internet. They also want to use English during holidays and while working in Great Britain. A large number of people expressed interest in British music and films, as well. For young people, it is also important to earn language certificates. They will find the expensive books they need for this at the British Centre, Jones added.

British Ambassador to Slovakia Judith MacGregor attended the centre's opening. It was her last official act in office.

Slovak opera singers tour Japan

THE SOLOISTS of the Banská Bystrica State Opera returned from a two-week, six-city tour of Japan on January 28, the TASR news wire reported. It was their 12th visit to the country.

Oľga Hromadová, Miroslava Kiseľová, Alžbeta Trgová, Šimon Svitok, Zoltán Vongrey, and Stanislav Matis, and vocal coach Martina Svitková performed in the cities of Saporro, Numata, Otaru, Yokohama, Chikugo, and Kunisaki. The repertoire included the best known arias from Bizet's Carmen and popular melodies from famous operettas and musicals. They also performed some Japanese songs, which were very well-received.

The tour was part of a project meant to familiarize Japanese audiences with European musical culture. It took place at the invitation of the director of the Otaru Nadajuk Hasegawa Gallery in Midori, with whom the State Opera has cooperated since 1999. The opera is planning another tour of Japan in the summer.

Bratislava Boys' Choir to sing

THE BRATISLAVA Boys' Choir will perform Oratorio Terezín by Canadian composer Ruth Fazal in New York's famed Carnegie Hall on February 8, the SITA news wire wrote. The oratorio is a powerfully emotional work that deals with the suffering endured by children imprisoned at the Terezín concentration camp during World War II. The music is set to poems written by some of the children who perished at the camp and uses a large symphonic orchestra, making it deeply spiritual.

The Photo Slovak Aid display profiles Slovakia's foreign aid projects.
photo: MZV

Photo Slovak Aid

THE PHOTO SLOVAK AID exhibition at the Slovak Parliament building profiles official aid projects carried out by Slovak organizations in developing countries. It lasts from January 30 until February 8.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry sees the exhibition as an enjoyable way of showing how Slovak organizations are contributing to development abroad. A fair trade sale will accompany the event.

By Jana Liptáková

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