Chorus of Charles University in Prague

The Chorus of Charles University in Prague at present comprises fifty enthusiastic students and a small number of recent graduates of Charles University, and increasingly our ranks our enhanced by singers on the Erasmus programme. In addition, our Chorus frequently performs alongside some fine professional soloists, including singers from the Opera of the National Theatre in Prague or from the Opera of the F. X. Saldy Theatre in Liberec.

We are particularly fortunate in enjoying the luxury and inspiration of having our own Orchestra whenever we need it, so we are not limited to a cappella pieces (although we do very much enjoy performing unaccompanied as well). Our repertoire is therefore very wide, embracing St. Gregory of Narek (11th century), as well as contemporary works. Recent successes include Giovanni Gabrieli's motet In ecclesiis, Monteverdi's six-voice Magnificat (associated with the Vespers of 1610), The Messiah (excerpts) and Zadok the Priest by Handel, Jan Jakub Ryba (Czech Christmas Mass - which we perform annually), Beethoven's Choral Fantasia and the finale from his oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives, and Dvorak's Stabat Mater, as well as works by Faure and Copland. At the other end of the spectrum, we enjoy performing smaller pieces (such as Dvorak's Moravian Duets), a variety of a cappella works - a recent example being Poulenc's Chansons Francaises, numerous Czech folksong arrangements, as well as a wealth of Christmas Carols from all over the world.

We rehearse on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m., occasionally extending the session for a further couple of hours to rehearse with orchestra, and also enjoy weekend workshops from time to time. The advantage of a smaller choir such as ours is the fact that every member can make an impact, and rehearsals take place in a very friendly and supportive atmosphere, and a feeling of fellowship arising from the joint effort towards our common goals of performing beautiful choral music to the very best of our ability. Our chorus-master's enthusiasm is infectious, and his vision, energy and humour enhance the pleasure of making music, in rehearsal as well as in performance.