Culture shorts

Aréna Theatre readies Children's University

A graduate of Children's University.
photo: Sme- Mirka Cibulková

WHY do stomachs rumble when they're empty? Why do people sweat? What came first: the chicken or the egg? Why do we need government, and what use is democracy?

Seasoned professors will try to answer these, and other far-ranging questions, during the fifth annual University for Children starting on July 4. The project is an annual summer event organized by the Aréna Theatre in cooperation with Comenius University that's open to children between 9 and 13.

Every Wednesday in July and August, children will have the chance to attend lectures delivered by, for example, Prime Minister Robert Fico, director Hans Hollamann or controversial Czech artist and director of the Czech National Gallery Milan Knížák. The speaker will choose a topic from their specialization and adjust it to the age and interest of children.

To accompany the lectures, the Aréna Theatre has also prepared fascinating programmes at the Slovak National Gallery and Slovak National Museum that will give children the chance to attend exhibitions and artistic workshops, or learn to navigate by the stars, among other skills.

Aréna Theatre director and developer of the project Juraj Kukura said that Wednesdays are booked for lectures and other days will be filled with additional activities, such as a visit to the Slovak parliament planned for August 21.

"The University for Children project is expanding into a size I could only have dreamed of," Kukura told the Pravda daily. "The lectures are only the beginning. We want to make a whole summer for children."

Kukura said he believes the University for Children will eventually become part of a Europe-wide project of children's universities.

"The Children's University is meant to create positive energy, which every nation needs. It is intended for young people, who want to study and achieve something," he said for the SITA news wire.

The project's capacity is 320 children. Every participant gets a report card, and those who attend at least six of the nine lectures will also get a diploma.

The theatre has already registered around 100 children, some of whom are from Germany and the United States, Pravda wrote. The deadline for submitting an application is June 22. For more information, or to download an application form, go to

Musicians receive Golden Notes

The laureates of the Golden Note Awards 2006 (from left to right): Eugen Gaál, Zuzana Oráčová, Maroš Didi, and Marián Bujňák. SLSP general director Regina Ovesny-Straka is second from the right.
photo: Courtesy of SLSP

SLOVAKIA's biggest bank, Slovenská Sporiteľňa, gave out its fourth annual Golden Note Awards for young musicians on May 10. This year's winners include bass Eugel Gaál from the Slovak Philharmonic Choir, double bassist Marián Bujňák from the Bohdal Warchal Slovak Chamber Orchestra, violinist Maroš Didi from the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina and violinist Zuzana Oráčová from the Slovak State Philharmonic in Košice.

The Golden Notes are given only to musicians younger than 35.

After the ceremony, visitors to the Reduta concert hall, where the event took place, were treated to Má vlast, a cycle of symphonic poems by Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, performed by the Slovak Philharmonic under the baton of Vladimír Válek.

Art by Slovak Roma children in Finland

SLOVAKIA's Ambassador to Finland, Viera Štupáková, presided over the opening of the Roma Palette exhibition at the International Culture Centre in Helsinki on May 3. The exhibition will remain open until the end of May, the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry stated, and in June, will join the largest cultural event in the Finnish capital, the World Village Festival.

The Slovak Embassy in Helsinki prepared the exhibition in cooperation with a grammar school in the village of Jarovnice in eastern Slovakia. It presents works by the village's Roma children, who painted their art on old school desks. Some parts of the exhibition have already been displayed in the School of Fine Arts and the Malmitalo Centre of Culture in Helsinki, as well as in the Central-Finnish Library in the town of Jyväskylä, where the only department of Slovak language and literature in Finland is located.

Health issues halt Tina tour

A vocal cord problem has silenced Tina for a few weeks.
photo: Sme- Mirka Cibulková

TINA, a winner at the 2006 Slovak Grammy Awards, was forced to interrupt her tour due to health problems with her vocal chords. Doctors are treating her, and have ordered she rest her voice for some weeks, the TASR news wire reported.

"Don't make a big deal out of it. I'll be ok in a little while," the singer said, adding she started to feel discomfort some time ago. She thought everything would be all right, but doctors came to a different conclusion, and ordered her to rest.

"During the tour, and at other concerts, I saw how people enjoy my music. They are the reason I think positively and why I want return to the stage as soon as possible. I feel sorry that I had to interrupt the tour, but it was for a good reason. I want to provide them with 100 percent Tina," she said.

Tina has rescheduled the last four concerts of her unfinished tour for the end of September and beginning of October. During the summer, she will only perform at festivals. On April 18, Tina received two Aurel awards, the Slovak version of the Grammys: Best Female Vocalist and Best Album, for Chillin.

Prepared by Jana Liptáková

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