With its fairytale-esque streets and historically-rich performance venues, it’s no wonder that Prague holds such a strong allure for touring choirs. Where cobbled lanes lead into hidden courtyards and bridges peppered with street-performers link Old and New towns, Prague a history lover’s haven, a culture vulture’s sanctuary and a performer’s paradise! Having recently returned from a 3-day concert tour to the Czech Republic capital, The Wolseley Singers have been singing Prague’s praises ever since.
This County Carlow based choir set off for ‘the hundred-spired city’ on the 10th June and spent their first evening in Prague getting acquainted with the city. Based in Prague’s centre, with its main attractions close-by, the group spent the following day seeking out iconic landmarks, from the Old Town square to the famed Prague Castle, before heading over to Strelecky Island for the much anticipated concert.
A popular site for open air concerts and festivals, Strelecky Island sits in the middle of Vltava River and is accessed from the water or the drier option of the Legion Bridge. A green oasis in the heart of the city, the island is the perfect place to enjoy a few leisurely hours away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Nestled in the park’s greenery, the outdoor stage plays hosts to musicians throughout the summer months where locals and tourists gather to lounge in the sun and listen to live music.
Thrilled that this venue was so well suited to the choir, The Wolseley Singers’ Choral Director, Regina Hanley, commented: ‘This venue was perfect for my group. Everyone from the sound engineer team were so helpful. It made my day that it ran so smoothly.’ The organisation and smooth-running of the concert was a tour highlight for Regina, who continued: ‘For me, as the party leader, the highlight was when we arrived at the gig and everything was organised and under control. Flyers were going to be handed out and the couriers had everything under control.’ Performing a varied repertoire, covering everything from Irish folk classics ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Parting Glass’, to Bobby Darin’s ‘Dream Lover’ and the Beatles, the choir sang out to the crowd of locals and tourists who gathered to hear familiar melodies and beautiful harmonies.
Following their Strelecky Island performance, the choir made their way to the Municipal Hall Café for a celebratory evening meal. Situated in the Republic Square, the Municipal House was famously the site of the historic proclamation of the independent state of Czechoslovakia. With strong links to the nation’s history, tourists flock to its doors to admire its stunning Art Nouveau architecture and to enjoy its traditional Czech delicacies.
The following day, the group spent the morning further exploring the city with visits to its must-see sights. In a uniquely preserved historical centre, where Renaissance monuments stand adjacent to gothic cathedrals and Baroque churches neighbour medieval buildings, it’s easy to get pleasantly lost amid Prague’s eclectic mix of architectural gems and with a few hours to spare before their return flight home, the group were free to explore the city streets and soak up its charm at a leisurely pace.
Delighted that the tour was such a success, we were thrilled to receive such positive feedback from the party leader who commented: ‘Everything ran as smooth as silk with our trip’. We were also pleased to hear that The Wolseley Singers’ tour plans don’t stop here. We hope to work with the choir again on another exciting tour!