Košice's big year begins

THE SLOVAK city of Košice has become, together with the French city of Marseilles, the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) 2013. A year-long series of events will officially be launched over the weekend of January 19 and 20 in Košice.

THE SLOVAK city of Košice has become, together with the French city of Marseilles, the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) 2013. A year-long series of events will officially be launched over the weekend of January 19 and 20 in Košice.

The two-day programme will climax on Sunday evening when “key investment, development and programme projects” will be announced, the Sme daily wrote.

Afterwards, Canada-based Slovak musician and composer Peter Breiner and the orchestra of the State Theatre Košice will play one of Breiner’s Slovak Dances, followed by Slovak composer Martin Burlas’ piece Záznam siedmeho dňa / Recording of the Seventh Day, performed by Veni Academy.

Jazz will then take over, played by AMC Trio, followed by performances of world music by Ida Kelarová and a children’s choir, folklore by Ensemble Železiar, and dancing by the Debris company. Admission to the event is by invitation but it will be screened live in the square near the Dolná brána / Lower Gate. Richard Šümeghi, a spokesman for state broadcaster RTVS, told Sme that although the opening ceremony will not be broadcast live, a recording would be made and broadcast “as soon as possible”.

Other events of the weekend programme include literature, music – including gigs by British acts Jamiroquai and Slugabed, and Slovaks Marián Greksa and Chiki liki tu-a – and a premiere of the Slovak movie Robinson & Crusoe. Further events will be organised throughout the year. More information about the programme can be found at www.kosice2013.sk.

Part of the opening ceremony will also be a 5-minute performance by Anna Gaja. This has sparked controversy on social networks because the singer is the wife of Marián Gaja, mayor of one of Košice’s boroughs and a member of the supervisory board of Košice 2013.

After the choice came in for widespread criticism Ján Sudzina, the head of Košice 2013, which is a non-profit organisation, told the Korzár daily that the idea was to attract the attention of as many people as possible – something that could be achieved through either an expensive campaign, or by a marketing trick that would spark a public debate over doubts about the correctness of the choice of performers. He claimed the organisers’ choice of Gaja was in fact an attempt to generate publicity, and had been successful.

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