Culture shorts

SND begins move to new theatre

The new SND box office.
photo: SND

THE SLOVAK NATIONAL THEATRE (SND) management on January 15 became the first division to move its offices from Gorkého Street in the centre of town to the new SND building on the left side of the Danube.

"The move went as planned," SND general director Silvia Hroncová said. "We hope to spend the next few months enlivening the new space, so it becomes a theatre people will enjoy going to. Hopefully, the rest of the theatre will also experience a smooth transition."

Performances at the SND's PO Hviezdoslav Theatre and Malá Scéna will continue until the end of March. Both venues will then become part of the new building in the first half of April. The new SND building has its grand opening on April 14 and 15 after 20 years of construction.

The SND also moved its box office for opera and ballet performances to inside the SND on Hviezdoslavovo Square via Jesenského Street. It is open between Monday and Friday from 8:00 to 19:00 and from 9:00 to 13:00 on Saturday. On weekends, it is also open one hour before performances. For information on tickets, call 02/5443-3764.

Gladiator to play in London

SLOVAK rock band Gladiator is preparing for its first concert in London. On February 17, it will perform in the King Cross Pub, where it will play songs from its latest album, Mesto (The City), for Slovak expats. "It will be great for us. London is the Mecca of music," bassist Maroš Hladký said.

The band plans to start recording a new album in March to be released in the fall. Its first song will be introduced during the summer music festivals.

Summer open-air festivals gearing up

AMERICAN nu metal band Korn is set to appear at Hodokvas, the second of Slovakia's summer open-air music festivals, which takes place in Piešťany on July 6.

Korn, the best-selling metal band for the last 13 years, was eagerly awaited last year at the Rock Fest in Nové Mesto nad Váhom, but had to cancel after singer Jonathan Davis collapsed on the stage of the Download Festival in England. He was later diagnosed with a serious blood disease, and has been undergoing successful treatment.

Also announced for Hodokvas is Austrian punk group Psychokillers and Slovenian electronic band Abroad Experiments, festival manager Tomáš Holetz said. Punk legend Zóna A, metal-punk band HT and Anticage will represent the Slovak musical scene. Čankyšou and SPS from the Czech Republic have also confirmed their participation.

"There will be other world stars in Piešťany between July 5 and 6," Holetz said without specifying.

The festival has changed date as well as acquired a new organizer, the European music organization Nova Music Entertainment. "We have gained the trust of a foreign partner, with whose help we will elevate Hodokvas to the level of one of the best European events of its type," festival head Michal Taliga told the TASR news wire.

For the Austria-based Nova Music Entertainment, the goals to achieve on the Slovak market are clear. "For us, Hodokvas is the first step into the Slovak music and entertainment market," company director Ewald Tatar said. "Our goal is not to flood Slovakia with events or festivals, but to bring in large and well-known bands that will please the fans."

The change in date is also linked to efforts to attract the highest quality bands. "Early July is ideal, since we can obtain more top bands than at any other time," Tatar said. Nova Music organizes seven festivals in Europe, including Novarock, Frequency, Lovely Days and Nuke. Last year, Hodokvas attracted more than 20,000 visitors.

Pohoda, the biggest summer open-air festival in Slovakia, takes place between July 20 and 21 at the military airport in Trenčín, and is also luring some top names.

Swedish alternative The Hives is scheduled to appear. The British music scene will be especially well represented. As well as Lou Rhodes mixing triphop with jazz and folk, guests include British indie pop girl group The Pipettes, Client, and DJ duo Ed Rush and Optical. More demanding listeners can look forward to Slovak keyboardist Marián Varga playing with The Moyzes Quartet. Ventil RG with singer Ján Kuric from Vidiek will make a huge festival comeback.

Rock Fest kicks off the summer concert season in the Zelená Voda resort between June 29 and 30. It has not announced any guests so far. "We wanted to get American bands Green Day or The Offspring here, but they aren't playing in Europe this season," organizer Dušan Hladký said. "We are in negotiations with a top calibre world star, but I can't comment on who."

by Jana Liptáková

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