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Man at Work, Musicians at Play in Slovakia

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

After an over night sailing from Budapest, I woke up in Bratislava, Slovakia. Our resident soprano Brittany gave a lecture on vocal types, ranges, and coloration, with audio examples. After that, those of us who signed on for the MS Joy Chorus had our second rehearsal. We worked on polishing Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart and started on the Czech piece Moravských Dvojzpěvů by Antonín Dvořák and arranged by Leoš Janáček. We were spared learning the Czech today and instead went through the piece singing “la la la.” Czech lessons are another day. (Image: Street art, Man at Work)

Right after lunch our local guide Katherine took us on a walking tour of Bratislava that included a tour of the Slovakia concert hall, home of the Slovak Philharmonic. Juraj Adamuščin the marketing director for the concert hall led the tour. He is also a freelance singer who often performs with a klezmer group ( After Juraj told us about the hall and the concert life in Bratislava, he sang a Slavakian folk tune so that we could appreciate the acoustics of the hall, which were wonderful. (Image: Entry way)

(Image: The main hall)

The next stop was an old palatial home that is now used as a small concert venue. We heard a variety of pieces performed by a family—pianist Mom, 10-year-old violinist son, and 12-year-old cellist daughter. The mother, Japanese, came to Slovakia many years ago on a concert tour. She fell in love with one of the orchestra members. Eventually they married, had children and have remained in Slovakia. The family is quite good.

After dinner, a local swing band, La Jana and Her Swing Boys, came on board to entertain us for an hour. WOW! Jana Dekánková, singer, ( dressed in period costume. Her three “boys” played a variety of instruments that included piano, guitar, banjo, sax, clarinet, and the rare slide saxophone.

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