Following the May 2010 parliamentary elections, responsibility for the performing arts fell to Czech deputy culture minister Radek Zdráhal. He didn’t like what he saw at the Prague State Opera — losses and less than transparent management — and this month filed a criminal complaint against an unknown perpetrator over questionable contracts and other alleged irregularities. But why didn’t the Culture Ministry act?
Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) has saddled the directors of the Czech Philharmonic and National Theater with a thankless task: they must explain to the members of these prestigious orchestras why the salary increases promised by the Ministry of Culture last autumn — and very publicly at that — never appeared in their pay stubs.
From the start of this year, in the face of much opposition, two of Prague’s main cultural centers have had their futures linked. The State Opera has, for administrative purposes at least, been brought under the National Theater . But the cancellation of one tender for a new director of the theater and preparation of a new, more specific one, suggests a new script is being prepared for the future of the two institutions.