SLOVAKIA is to get a generous serving of Irish music this year. After the Irish pipe band which performed on Hlavné Námestie in Bratislava in mid March, visitors to Pohoda in Trenčín, the biggest open-air music festival in Slovakia, will be able to enjoy music by Irish bands Interference and Jape. The bands will perform on July 9, the second day of the festival. And in August Irish singer and songwriter Sinéad O'Connor will perform in Bratislava as part of her current tour.
Music is not the only artistic field in which Ireland is making itself felt in Slovakia. The large Slovak community living in Ireland has already inspired a movie, the Slovak-Czech-Irish Líštičky (Foxes). This debut feature by Slovak director Mira Fornay received the best debut film award from the Slovak Film and Television Academy and was successfully screened in Slovakia.
Irish cinematography also contributed to the programme of the Inakosť Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Bratislava which ran from 30 September to 4 October last year. Fur Coat and No Knickers by Irish producer Paul Ward, a romantic comedy set in the theatre world of contemporary Dublin and featuring budding actors, eccentric stalkers and a seductive director, was shown during the festival.
And in May The Secret Scripture, a prize-winning novel by Irish contemporary writer Sebastian Barry, was published in Slovak under the title Utajené svedectvo, translated by Igor Navrátil.
Tribute to Freedom
Sinéad O'Connor will headline the Tribute to Freedom concert at Devín Castle, near Bratislava, in mid August.
Following the success of the first Pocta slobode – Tribute to Freedom concert last year, which marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain, the organisers decided to turn it into an annual tradition. Last year’s concert featured Jon Anderson, rock star and leader of art rock band Yes, who played and sang in a special programme prepared for the concert with Slovak musicians, Czech singers Marta Kubišová, Vladimír Merta and Michael Kocáb, and famous Slovak keyboardist Marián Varga.
This year’s concert will include, in addition to O'Connor, Slovak singer Jana Kirschner and Czech musician David Koller. The concert takes place on August 14, starting at 18:00.
During the totalitarian regime a high and well-guarded iron fence divided the village of Devín and the rest of the country from the democratic world to the west. In a spontaneous act on December 10, 1989, many Bratislavans – with the help of the guards themselves – started to dismantle the fence. Thousands of Slovaks also marched to the Austrian town of Hainburg on the same day.
12. Jul 2010 at 0:00 | Jana Liptáková