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Programme inspired by the life story of priest Josef Toufar, who was tortured to death by Communist State Security officers in January 1950. With the Czech Philharmonic musicians, members of the Disman Radio Children’s Ensemble and music by Slavomír Hořínka.
members of the Czech Philharmonic and the Orchestral Academy
members of the Disman Radio Children’s Ensemble
Hana Franková or Anna Doležalová
Jan Hnilička or Slavomír Hořínka
Dominika Prokopová and Jan Hnilička instructors
Slavomír Hořínka music
Jana Franková † author and stage director
The program for children is based on a musical part but also on a spoken word that will be given in Czech language only. The program will not be supplied with English subtitles.
This educational programme of music and acting is based on the fate of Josef Toufar, who was tortured to death by State Security officers in 1950.
“For our pupils, this was one of the first steps in the topic of Czech post-war history. The step was not easy, just like the period when Josef Toufar lived. They appreciated the depth of the story, but they had a hard time dealing with the cruelty of Father Toufar’s fate. One girl asked a very telling question: ‘What was it that he had actually done wrong?’ (…) Maybe the way today’s young people take freedom and rule of law as a matter of course will be a guarantee that they won’t let it be taken from them.”
In this workshop of music and drama, the pupils and students follow the fateful footsteps of Josef Toufar (1902–1950), the priest in Číhošť who was murdered by the communist secret police. They will search for the meaning of heroism, truth, sacrifice, and overcoming life's obstacles. Through the fates of the people associated with the "Číhošť Miracle", the pupils will get a glimpse of life in the 1950s in our country.
The first part of the workshop discusses the context of the 20th century in terms of the themes of freedom and its absence, and that serves as a key and a bridge to the second part of the programme. The activities of the workshop demand above all the willingness to discover new contexts.
In the second half, through music and readings, we let the musicians and actors draw us into the drama of a life story and the fateful events of 1949-1950 and the last days of Josef Toufar (including the subsequent investigation). The production is based on music by Slavomír Hořínka and a script by Jana Franková adapted from Miloš Doležal’s books As If We Should Die Today and A Step into the Dark Night.
The programme ends with reflections. The goal is to give the participants the chance to absorb both parts of the production, identify key questions, and strive to understand the events presented.