The opera was magical. I had a glass of champagne in the lobby during intermission. Everyone sang beautifully and I got goosebumps when Violetta died at the end.
Národní Divadlo, the National Theatre, is just gorgeous! And, I cannot get over how huge it is – the auditorium and the stage are just so vast. There are five balcony levels above the orchestra. So far, I’ve only been seated up on the fourth floor, but I’ve been able to see and enjoy everything quite well from there.
After the opera, we went to Prague’s version of Sardi’s called Kavarna Slavia. I ate an ice-cream sundae with some gross lemony-tasting booze poured all over it …the disadvantages of not being able to fully read the menu.
At any rate, I’m becoming very cultured.
Friday afternoon I went with my Czech Language Class to Národní Muzeum to check out an exhibit about the First Republic of Czechoslovakia. This interwar period is known as Praha’s Golden Age. Also, there was an exhibit on Czech hockey. Hockey is huge here. (Hopefully, I ‘ll get myself to a game soon…) This sweet old man said something to me in Czech while I was walking through the exhibit. I responded, “Nerozumim.” This means, “I don’t understand.” What I should have said was, “Nerozumim Český” which means “I don’t understand Czech,” because he proceeded to launch into a very passionate explination of the display we were looking at. After a few solid minutes of him monologuing in Czech, I was able to interrupt and say, “Jsem Američanka. Nerozumim Český.” He got all embarrassed and waddled away.
That night, I was back at Národní Divadlo to see the opening performance of Swan Lake. It was beautiful, and very exciting to been at the theatre for a sold-out performance! I had some fun wandering around. They have tons of pictures hanging throughout the theatre. I enjoyed trying to guess the show and the characters. I was able to recognize many scenes form Chekhov, Shakespeare, and other classics (…many of which we read last year!) I think Wayne, my Theatre History prof., would’ve been very proud.
I enjoyed a fun Valentine’s Day around the city with my roommates. We visited some touristy-attractions, but it was still a good time. Praha is celebrating Carnevale. We caught the end of a parade through the city. It was very crowded, but we still enjoyed the music and the people all dressed up and dancing on stilts.
Our first stop was Praha’s infamous Sex Machine Museum. It was pretty incredible how old some of the contraptions were. The museum included a pretty gruesome display of genital piercings, lots of sadomaschistic stuff, and pornographic films from 1925. Next, we toured a little chocolate museum right off of Old Town Square.
Saturday night, I went on my first pub-crawl in Praha. I had a great time and am looking forward to going back to some of the clubs we visited.
A word on Czech beer: It’s smooth and delicious and cheap. You can get a glass of Pilsner Urquell for 25 Kc. (22 Kc= $1)
Saturday night, I tried Becherovka for the first time. It’s a Czech liquor and it’s sort of comparable to Jäger. Except, in my opinion, it tastes better. Lots of people describe as tasting like Christmas, and I think that’s a decent description. It is very cinnamon-y and sort of pine-y.
Sunday was a nice lazy day. My roommate and I had a very yummy and very American breakfast at Bohemia Bagel. And then we did some wandering around Old Town until we were cold and ready for a nap.
Today, it snowed big wet snowflakes. After class, I walked around near the Charles Bridge. I successfully navigated myself to the DAMU building where the Divadelni Fakulta, Charles University’s College of Theatre, is housed. I’m taking a class there! The class is called Dialogické jednání. When translated to English it means Acting with the Inner Partner. I don’t know too much about it, but in the email I got from the professor he explained it as “multidisciplinary” and “psycho-physical.” Not quite sure what to expect, but I’m totally excited about.
I came to Praha feeling a little jaded and not too confidant about my decision to be an actor. But, I was just thrilled when I heard about the opportunity to roll-around on the floor of an acting class. My reaction was really reaffirming, and that’s a nice feeling.
Today, I was upset that I hadn’t brought my camera because the view across the bridge was incredible. All the rooftops were covered with snow and there were big fluffy snowflakes falling from the sky.
I’ve posted a few more photos to the album chronicling my Valentine’s Day adventures: