CULTURAL LIFE IN OUR TOWN

 

 

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CINEMA, THEATRE, DANCING, RADIO,

TV AND LITERATURE

 

Cultural life in our town is not so rich as in large cities. In spite of that, there are some ways of spending leisure time. We can go to the cinema, to the theatre, dancing, or we can stay at home and listen to the radio, watch television and read books.

There are two cinemas here which offer film shows twice a day all the year round. On Sunday afternoons they show special films for children. The repertory of the cinemas is not specialized, the films do not have a long run and they change every two days. In the past it was necessary to book the tickets for a performance in advance if you wanted to avoid long queuing in front of the box office. The cinemas were often packed and the tickets were sold out. Since that time attendance has declined partly due to the fact that people have less free time and are lazier to leave their homes. They prefer watching television or video to going to the cinema. The cinemas do not draw large audiences nowadays also on account of their repertory focused on presenting commercial, action films which do not interest more demanding cinemagoers. The last reason, but not the least, may be high admission. Nowadays we can get the tickets straight away at the cinema, about half an hour before the performance. Some people like to sit at the back but I usually buy tickets to the middle of the tenth row from where I can see better than from a seat next to the gangway. Before I decide to go to the cinema, I choose the films very carefully. I do not like violence and blood and I am fond of witty comedies, psychological drama and films about young people above all. I also follow the reviews and try to go and see first-run or highly regarded films or those which won an Oscar or another award at festivals, and then I compare my impression with the official review. I am also glad to see films directed by my favourite directors, such as Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel and Woody Allen. On television I will not let slip the opportunity to watch famous films of the golden Hollywood era with such stars as Lawrence Olivier, Greta Garbo, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, or more recent ones Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. I like silent films with Charlie Chaplin, too. I never go to see a film based on a story after I have read the story because then I am usually disappointed by the film. I prefer foreign films which are not dubbed but provided only with subtitles because it is a good opportunity for me to test my knowledge of foreign languages.

Small towns provide little opportunity to see theatre performances. There is not a permanent theatre building in our town and so when theatre companies come to give a performance here they act on the stage of our cultural house. I like going to the theatre, the opera or to a ballet no matter what is on the programme because I like the atmosphere of the theatre. People usually come dressed up, they take off their coats in the cloakroom and there they can also hire opera glasses from the cloakroom attendant. Then an attendant shows us to our seat. It is rather difficult to get tickets to the stalls, and from the pit you cannot see so well, that is why I prefer to sit in the boxes (but they are quite expensive), or in the dress circle. Students often buy cheaper tickets to the upper circle or balcony or they stand in the gods. When we have sat down we usually read the programme to see the cast, that is who stars in the play or opera and who plays the supporting roles. We want to know a synopsis of the opera, who designed the stage scenery and costumes and who rehearsed the performance and when the premiere was. Then the musicians come in and begin to tune their instruments and soon the conductor appears and the orchestra starts to play an overture. The lights go out. The curtain goes up and the performance begins.

During the interval, between two acts, we can walk in the foyer, buy some refreshments and share opinions of the performance with our friends. When the opera is over, the audience bursts into applause. The opera singers are called out and sometimes there are many curtain calls. Musicians at concerts often have to give encores.

When I was little I really loved puppet shows, now I prefer operas, ballets and plays.

In the cultural house dancing lessons, discos, balls, concerts and book sales are also held. When I was in the third form I took dancing lessons there too. Since then I have been fond of dancing and I became a member of a dancing club. We learned both standard dances, such as the polka, Viennese waltz, waltz, foxtrot or tango and Latin American ones such as the jive, rumba, cha-cha and some disco and modern dances. Now I have no time for the dancing club, only I go occasionally to a disco in the youth club.

Concerts of classical chamber music and recitals are held in the concert hall in the Town Hall. Pop music concerts are usually given in the cultural house. There is also a beautiful Baroque church where people go to listen to church and organ music. Our town also has a picture gallery which specialises in book illustrations, and a library.

When I do not feel like going anywhere I watch television and listen to the radio or read books. I am not a TV addict and am not one of those who spend hours in front of the screen. For some people it has become a matter of social status to have a satellite or a cable TV and first class video and TV set. Some people need a radio or TV as a background noise and they hardly know what is on the programme. In my opinion, television can contribute positively to the nation's education and to the country folks it really brings culture right to their homes. I like to watch TV news, comments on home and foreign affairs, travelogues, natural science programmes and good old films. Sports fans certainly enjoy live broadcasts of interesting sports events. I do not like films to be interrupted by commercials.

When we travel a portable transistor can be a good companion. In comparison to a TV set, radio has at least two advantages. We need not sit in front of it and yet we can still enjoy listening to it while we have to do everyday boring tasks. And it can be as quick as possible in covering an event. Most of us switch on the radio to hear the time signal, morning news, press review, or some good music or a hit parade. Some other programmes, such as popular talks, phone-ins or discussions with well known personalities can be very interesting, too.

In comparison with the passive consumption of TV culture, reading is a highly active hobby. During our life we meet both fiction and non-fiction. When we read for pleasure, we usually pick up a book of fiction, such as novels (science fiction, westerns, travel books, thrillers, crime fiction, psychological and historical novels, adventure tales, love stories), short stories and tales or poetry. There are various ways to choose a book for reading. Some of us read a book for its subject and setting, others for the author or on personal recommendation. Also reasons why we read may be different - we read for relaxation and pleasure, or we look for information and advice. We can buy books, or we can borrow them from friends and from a library. If we need information, it is good to have various dictionaries, outlines, encyclopaedias, technical and scientific literature, atlases, textbooks, biographies, autobiographies and history and art books at hand.

 

 

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MUSIC AND THE FINE ARTS

 

Even if we are not concertgoers and experts in the fine arts, we live in the world surrounded by music and architecture without actually realising it.

We come into contact with music all our lives. When we are little, we listen to lullabies sung by our mother and soon we try to sing some songs ourselves. When we reach school age many of us take some music lessons at a music school. .

If we have musical talent, in a few years we can learn to play a musical instrument fairly well. Many children start playing the piano or a wind instrument, such as the recorder, the pipe, the flute, the clarinet, the oboe or the bassoon, or they blow a trumpet, play the accordion or a string instrument (the violin, the viola or the violoncello). From time to time they show their skill at playing the instrument at a concert which is held for their parents. They often play to the piano accompaniment of their teacher. Later, under the influence of recorded pop music broadcast by the radio and TV their affection and taste may change. Teenagers often start to play the guitar, the banjo, the bass, the drums or the keyboard and many of them dream of founding a band and giving concerts to a large audience. At the age of 16 or 17 many young people also take dancing lessons and develop a liking for dance music. But most of us remain only listeners to music.

Large towns offer a better opportunity to enjoy performances of both serious and pop music. They often invite renowned symphonic orchestras with outstanding conductors and hold music festivals, such as the Edinburgh Festival of Music and the Arts or the Prague Spring Festival which has been held every year since 1946. These orchestras usually have in their repertoire music by noted composers of all styles and periods. We can also listen to church, organ and chamber music, operas, operettas and musicals. Stars of pop, jazz and rock music usually give their concerts in large concert halls or sports stadiums.

People in the country and in small towns do not usually have such a wide choice unless artists and orchestras from large towns are invited. Festivals of country music and brass band music are sometimes held and at Christmas time carols are often heard. If there is a choir (male, female, children's or mixed) people go to listen to its performance.

At any time of the day we can listen to recorded music of all genres on the radio. Young people like to buy or exchange cassettes, LPs or compact discs by their favourite singers and composers. They often watch music programmes on TV and the Top of the Pops.

In our everyday life we also meet with works of the fine arts, either architecture, sculptures or painting. When we see both secular and ecclesiastical buildings, such as castles, chateaux, palaces, country mansions, thatched cottages, half timbered houses, gables and facades of the houses, churches, cathedrals, chapels, monasteries or cemeteries, we must admire the art of architecture of the old builder-masters, masons and wood carvers and their feeling for beauty. In museums and art galleries, which display sculptures and paintings, we look with pleasure at statues and sculptural groups cut in sandstone, granite, marble, carved in wood or moulded in clay, plaster or bronze, or have a high regard for paintings (landscapes, life size portraits, still lives, sketches, miniatures) painted in oil and in watercolours, drawings, graphic art (prints), engravings, etchings or woodcuts. Even people who are not fond of the fine arts meet examples of them when they look at book illustrations or cartoons and photographs in their favourite magazine.

 

  

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PHRASES

 

Pojďme do kina / divadla.

Let’s go to the cinema/theatre.

Nepůjdeme na nějaký film?

Shall we go and see a film?

Co dávají v kině Odeon / v Národním divadle?

What’s on at the Odeon/the National Theatre?

A co takhle koncert?

How about a concert?

 

 

Ať se ti to líbí.

Have a good time! / Enjoy it!

 

 

Chtěl byste jít se mnou do divadla?

Would you like to go to the theatre with me?

V kolik hodin začíná představení?

What time does the performance begin?

Představení začíná v sedm večer.

The performance starts at seven p.m..

Co hrají?

What is on?

 

What is on the programme?

Kdo hraje hlavní roli?

Who is playing the main role?

 

Who stars?

Kdo je autor?

Who is the author?

Známý dramatik(skladatel).

A well-known playwright (composer).

Asi ho nebudete znát.

You probably won’t know him.

Ano, toho autora znám dobře.

Yes, I know the author very well.

Jeho hry mají velký úspěch.

His plays are very successful.

Mám rád operu.

I like opera.

.. loutkové divadlo.

… puppet theatre.

Kterého dramatika máš nejraději?

Which playwright do you like best?

 

  

Jakou hudbu máš rád?

What kind of music do you like?

Mám rád klasickou hudbu od Mozarta.

I like classical music by Mozart.

Líbí se mi stará hudba.

I like old music.

… současná hudba.

… contemporary music.

… moderní hudba.

… modern music.

… středověká hudba.

… medieval music.

Velmi mám rád Beatles.

I like the Beatles very much.

Můj syn dává přednost populární hudbě.

My son prefers popular music.

Máš nějakou oblíbenou skupinu.

Do you have a favourite band?

Jak se jmenuje ten dirigent?

What’s the name of the conductor?

Kdo hraje na flétnu?

Who plays the flute?

… klavír?

… the piano?

 

    

Chtěl bych navštívit obrazovou galerii.

I would like to visit a picture gallery.

… galerii umění.

… a gallery of arts.

… sochařskou galerii.

… a gallery of sculptures.

… galerii porcelánu a skla.

… a gallery of china and glass.

… historické muzeum.

… a historical museum.

… národopisné muzeum.

… an ethnographical museum.

… přírodovědné muzeum.

… a science museum.

Jaké je, prosím, vstupné?

How much is the admission, please?

Máte slevy pro studenty?

Do you give / do student discounts?

Kdo maloval tento portrét?

Who painted this portrait?

… tento obraz?

… this picture?

Kdo je autorem tento sochy?

Who is a sculptor?

 

 

Chtěl bych vidět dobrodružný film.

I would like to see an adventure film.

… veselohru.

… a comedy.

… psychologický film.

… a psychological film.

… detektivku.

… a detective film.

 

   

V jakém jazyce je ten film?

Which language is this film in?

Je to s anglickými titulky?

Is it with English subtitles?

Kdo je režisérem?

Who is the director?

Je to barevný nebo černobílý film?

Is it colour or black and white film?

Je to širokoúhlý film?

Is it a widescreen film?

 

   

Dva lístky na..., prosím.

I’d like two tickets for..., please.

Prosím, dejte mi dva lístky.

Can I have two tickets?

… do přízemí.

… for the stalls.

… na balkón.

… for the balcony.

Jsou ještě lístky na...?

Are there any tickets left for...?

 

 

Dva lístky na odpolední / večerní

Two tickets for the matineé / evening

představení

performance, please.

 

 

Máte lístky na balkon?

Is there anything in the balcony, pleas

Máte lístky do páté řady?

Is there anything in the row five?

Prosím, dvě místa vedle sebe.

Please, could you give me two seats next to

 

each other?

Děkuji, ty si vezmu.

I’ll take those, please.

 

 

V kolik hodin začíná / končí představení.

What time does the performance start /

 

finish?

Je během představení přestávka?

Is there an interval?

Chtěl bych dva programy.

I’d like two programmes, please.

Prodáváte už lístky na zítřek?

Are you already selling tickets for tomorrow?

Jaké je vstupné?

How much is it to get in?

Rezervujte mi dva lístky.

Please, reserve two tickets for me.

Kde je šatna, prosím?

Excuse me, where is the cloakroom?

Kolik se platí za odložení?

How much do I have to pay for the

 

cloakroom?

 

   

Rád bych šel do kina?

I would like to go to the cinema.

Kde najdu programy kin?

Where can I find the cinema guide?

 

  

Posloucháte často rádio?

Do you often listen to the radio?

Chtěl bych si poslechnout zprávy.

I’d like to listen to the news.

V kolik hodin jsou zprávy?

What time is the news?

Nemohu chytit zprávy.

I can’t pick up the news.

Jaká je to stanice?

What station is this?

Počkáme si na časový signál.

Let’s wait for the time signal.

Chtěl bych si poslechnout předpověď počasí.

I’d like to listen to the weather report (forecast).

Zapněte/vypněte rádio.

Will you switch on/off the radio?

 

  

Chcete se dívat na televizi?

Would you like to watch TV?

Co je dnes v televizi?

What’s on television today?

Chtěl bych se podívat na zprávy.

I’d like to watch the TV news.

Po televizních novinách v sedm hodin

After the seven o’clock news there

budou vysílat pořad …

will be a programme of …

Viděl jste včera v televizi přímý přenos z…?

Did you watch the live broadcast from …

 

on television yesterday?

Dnes je špatný obraz.

The picture is bad today.

Přepněte na druhý kanál.

Switch over to another channel, please.

Podívám se, co dávají na třetím kanálu.

I’ll try what’s on the third channel.

Máte barevnou televizi?

Have you got a colour TV-set?

Máte satelitní přijímač?

Have you got a satellite receiver?

Kolik programů přijímáte?

How many channels do you receive?

Co je na SKY-ONE?

What’s on SKY-ONE?

Podal byste mi televizní program?

Could you pass me the TV guide?

 

   

Co je dnes večer v televizi?

What’s on the television tonight?

 

 

V šest hodin jsou zprávy.

The news is on at six o’clock.

V osm dávají dobrý film.

There’s a good film on at eight.

Nevíte, jestli je dnes večer něco pěkného?

Do you know if there is anything good on

 

tonight?

Ano, je.

Yes, there is.

Velmi pěkný film s …

A very nice film with …

Chcete se na něj podívat:

Do you want to watch it?

Jistě.

Certainly.

Tak si to nahrajme.

In fact, let’s record it.

Máme nějakou volnou kazetu?

Do we have a blank tape?

Kazeta je ve videorekordéru.

The tape is in the VCR.

Kdy začíná ten film?

What time does the film start?

 

At the library

 

Excuse me, please…

Promiňte…

Can I help you?

Co si přejete? Čím vám posloužím?

When is the library open?

Od kdy je v knihovně otevřeno?

Where is the history section, please?

Kde je, prosím, oddělení dějin?

Where can I find a book on Czech history?

Kde bych našel knihu o českých dějinách?

Where can I find information on…?

Kde bych našel informace o…?

Where is the information desk, please?

Kde jsou informace?

Do you need (to see) my library card?

Potřebujete mou průkazku?

How many books can I borrow?

Kolik knih si mohu vypůjčit?

When do I have to return them?

Kdy je musím vrátit?

I’d like to return / renew this, please.

Toto bych chtěl vrátit / prodloužit.

 

 

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PICTURE DICTIONARY

 

Music Film Books

Theatre Art Books and press

 

 

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