The Czech opera star Ester Pavlu, a mezzo soprano, will be in concert Saturday, December 11th at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Spillville. The concert time is 7:30 PM after the 6:00 PM Mass.
Also appearing is Vladimir Chmelo, a Slovakian baritone and Ahmad Hedar a leading Czech pianist. The concert will include classic operatic works by Dvorak, Martinu, and Janacek plus traditional Biblical and Nativity songs. The Christmas songs in Czech include: Silent Night, I Would Like to go to Bethlehem, Christ is Born and He Brings Us News. This concert event is sponsored by Czech Heritage Partnership and the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library. The event is of free-will offering.
Ester Pavlů is a graduate of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Mezzosoprano Ester Pavlů was introduced as Fenena in Jose Cura’s 2017 production of Verdi’s Nabucco at the National Theatre in Prague. Pavlů portrayed the Old Woman in the world premiere of Martinů’s What Men Live By, which received the Anděl award for best classical recording of 2018.
In 2019, Ester joined a triumphant UK tour of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the FOK Prague Symphonic Orchestra, and received a standing ovation as Cinderella in Rossini’s Cenerentola. This year she excelled in Dvořák’s Rusalka, singing both the Foreign Princess and Witch. In the 2021/2022 season, Ester Pavlů will appear as Carmen of the same-name Bizet’s opera or as The Queen in Weinberger’s Schwanda the Bagpiper at the Prague National Theatre; a year later she will sing Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.
Vladimír Chmelo is a Slovak baritone and interpreter of the Italian, Czech and Russian repertoire. He has performed throughout Europe, in Tokyo and in Buenos Aires, and from 2009-2015 also at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Vladimer’s portfolio of leading roles reveals his versatility, from Macbeth, Rigoletto and Germont to Toreador, Hamlet and Onegin.
Vladimir has worked with renowned conductors, directors, singers and pianists, including Boulez, Rattle, Szoltes, Fleming, Netrebko, Domingo and many more. Chmelo is also active as a teacher (counting Ester Pavlů among his students) and established the Prague Musical Institute which holds summer singing courses in the city of Český Krumlov.
Ahmad Hedar is a leading Czech pianist, vocal coach and singer. He studied at the Prague HAMU. His musicality has made him a sought-after accompanist to many prominent singers. Through Run OpeRun, an organization he works closely with to make opera accessible to new audiences.
Ahmad has led the musical production of the Magic Flute (2016), Marriage of Figaro (2017), Rusalka (2020), and La Traviata (2021), all on the site of the former Stalin monument in Prague. In 2019, Hedar earned a fellowship at the prestigious Bayreuth festival. He has been teaching at the Jan Deyl Conservatory in Prague.
This wonderful Czech and Slovak concert will help get you into the spirit of Christmas season. Bring your musically inclined family members and friends