Principal protagonists of the cultural life at Charles University are the student associations from individual faculties. In addition to that, our students may enjoy all the cultural events and activities our city offers, since their everyday life is not separated from the public domain into a secluded campus (see, e.g. the ex-pats theatre groups). Moreover, throughout the year, both the faculties and the rectorate provide students with a number of opportunities to socialise. See, e.g. the main university calendar or the CU Point calendar. Our university also hosts many exhibitions during the academic year in the Cross Corridor of the Carolinum and Botanical Garden.
One of the most prominent musical societies at our university is the Chorus and Orchestra of Charles University which comprises Czech as well as international enthusiastic students including a small number of recent graduates. Their ranks are also increasingly enhanced by international singers and musicians coming here via the Erasmus programme. The chorus frequently performs alongside some fine professional soloists, including singers from the Opera of the National Theatre, amongst others. Their repertoire is therefore very wide, embracing works such as Monteverdi’s six-voice Magnificat, excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Creation, several pieces by Dvořák etc. However, they also enjoy performing smaller a cappella works – a recent example being Poulenc’s Chansons Françaises, numerous Czech folksong arrangements, and a wealth of Christmas carols from all over the world. The orchestra collaborates frequently with other bodies from our faculties and even other university ensembles across Europe and further afield, having done so with, amongst others, the University of Copenhagen Symphony Orchestra, Exeter Chamber University Orchestra, University of Pisa Choir, University of Cologne Chamber Choir or the Princeton University Chapel Choir. The orchestra mostly performs works by the great masters, including Czech composers, and its repertoire spans the whole spectrum from the baroque to the contemporary.
The Charles University Choir belongs to the bodies with the longest tradition of non-professional choir singing in the Czech lands. As a matter of fact, it is the oldest Czech university choir, formed in 1948. Its founder, Czech composer Jan Tausinger, also became its first conductor. From the very beginning, members of the ensemble were mainly students, graduates and employees of different Prague universities. In 1977, Charles University became its main supporter and since then, the choir bears its name. Today it has between sixty and eighty singers with an average age of about 28 years. The choir is a member of the European Federation of Young Choirs (EFJC) and it takes regularly part in international festival EUROPA CANTAT. Not to mention that it is also a co-organiser of the traditional International Singing Week in the town of Tábor in southern Bohemia.
ACANT is a student choir of the Catholic Theological Faculty focused on sacred music of all periods and styles (with an emphasis on African-American spirituals and contemporary sacred music). The choir was founded in 2006 and already has a long series of concerts and performances on various occasions both in the Czech Republic and abroad. The choir sings under the artistic direction of choirmaster PhDr. Terezia Minářová Výborná, Ph.D. The choir's repertoire is not limited to liturgical singing but contains a range of compositions stemming from Christian traditions. The name "ACANT" was chosen after the plant ornamental element "acanthus" used already in the Antiquity, imitating the leaf of the eponymous thistle growing in the Mediterranean. The name also refers to the Latin canto = to sing.
Entropia Chamber Choir - it's not just a mixed choir. Entropy is a lifestyle. It should be added that they are not a sect, but a student association of Charles University. They prepare concerts, invent projects, and join other people's projects without any shame. They also share an interest in sports, making good coffee, ballroom dancing and other cultural activities.
The theatre life most prominently features two drama societies from our Faculty of Science – Divadlo Viníci and Hamba. At first, Viníci were mainly involved in improvisation but since 2014, they regularly stage their own plays. The first one was Call Jeeves based on the book by P.G. Wodehouse. Not long after that, they staged Tomb with a View. Thirdly, under the direction of Alice Škrlantová, they tackled E. A. Poe, and in 2017, a delicacy full of piquant tidbits from the life of this writer-swinging-over-a-raven's-pit was born. Their fourth play, in June 2018, was a dramatisation of the piece 5 Sips to 12. Hamba was born in 2016 and its first piece was an adaptation of the play Caesar by the famous duo Voskovec and Werich. Since then, they adapted several other plays from Czech and international authors alike, such as Woody Allen's Don' t Drink Water.
On Tuesday evenings, our students and staff have the opportunity to enjoy sneak previews of selected movies before their official cinema premiere. The famous film seminar is organised by our Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism, with screenings taking place every week in the Blue Auditorium (Celetná 20, Prague). Besides that, the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Arts run their own film seminars and several student associations organise occasional moovie sreeenings as well.