International melodrama contest in Prague for first time

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Earlier this week, the Academy of Music in Prague played host to the 1st international melodrama contest, which brought together young musicians and actors from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Japan, Sweden and the United States. Alena Skodova reports:

The competitors performed in pairs, always one pianist and one reciter, and this is actually what melodrama is all about. I spoke with Professor Simon William from the University of California in Santa Barbara, who was a member of the jury, and began by asking him about the history of melodrama: In the end, the contest was so close that the jury did not choose an absolute winner, and the second and third prizes were split between two competing couples. The winners then brought the contest to close by performing at a special concert, given on Wednesday in the Lichtenstein Palace in Prague.