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SND wraps up ambitious season


Warhol, a new ballet at the SND.
photo: SND

THIS past season was one of the most ambitious in the nearly 90-year history of the Slovak National Theatre (SND). The greatest challenge was the move into a new building that, for the first time in history, encompasses all three ensembles of the SND: Opera, Ballet, and Drama. The new building on the Danube embankment officially opened on April 14 and 15.

From September to June, the SND premiered 14 productions, including eight dramas and four operas. From January to June, it staged 353 performances, of which 124 took place in the new building. During this same period, almost 134,000 people attended performances. The ballet reported the biggest increase in the number of visitors.

The SND's 88th season opens on September 4 with a gala concert that will take place in the new building for the first time. The ballet will start its new season on September 8 with a performance of Warhol and the drama ensemble will begin its new season with Hamlet on September 12.

Construction of the new SND building lasted more than 20 years. The final cost is expected to exceed Sk4.5 billion.



Elán to sing at Carnegie Hall


Elán is playing at Carnegie Hall.
photo: TASR

LEGENDARY Slovak band Elán will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City on September 21, becoming the first Slovak group in history to reach "music heaven", the TASR newswire wrote. The concert will be added to the group's long list of achievements, which include its successful open-air concert in Prague in 2003 and its hit tour in 2005.

The band will play in its traditional composition of Jožo Ráž, Jano Baláž, and Vašo Patejdl. Ľubo Horňák, Peter Fernbauer, Juraj Kuchárek, and Henry Tóth will accompany it.

The concert, Elán Unplugged, will take place in the Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage at 20:00, the band wrote on its website, www.elan007.com.



Young painters compete


YOUNG painters have until August 31 to apply for a competition organised by the VÚB Bank Foundation, which supports artists aged 24 to 35 with financial awards up to Sk300,000.

The winners of the competition's second year will be officially announced in mid November, just before an exhibition of the enrolled and winning paintings is set to begin. The exhibition will last until Christmas.

Last year, 83 artists enrolled 159 paintings in the competition. The winner was Za Domom (Behind the House) by Michal Czinege. Artists Ivana Žirková and Erik Šille placed second and third, respectively.



Habsburg unable to attend royal festival


Otto von Habsburg.
photo: ČTK

OTTO von Habsburg was to be the guest of honour at the 2007 Coronation Festival in Bratislava on August 31, but had to cancel due to his deteriorating health, the TASR newswire wrote.

Nonetheless, the fifth year of the popular event, which acts out a coronation and procession from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, will go ahead as planned between August 31 and September 2.

Event coordinator Miroslav Vetrík confirmed that von Habsburg had planned to hold an informal meeting with the public on August 31 before attending the coronation. It is unclear whether von Habsburg's daughter, Valburga von Douglas, who is currently a Swedish MP and was due to visit Bratislava, will make the trip.

A resident of Germany, Otto von Habsburg was born in 1912 as the son of Charles, who became the last Hapsburg ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1916-18). He has remained politically active in Europe.

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