Musical has a chequered history in Slovakia. In the middle of the sixties of the last century Western musicals were performed and liked by the audiences. Then the regime replaced these with Eastern block music performances, mostly of Russian and Hungarian origin. After the creation of independent Slovakia, for a while, theatres were funded directly by the Government, but in 1996 a new legislation transferred the responsibility for theatres to the local governments. The already scares funding became even more restricted and the theatres had to make economies on a larger scale. So some drama repertoire theatres started to produce musicals, which they hoped would bring them quick and good return to their investment. To make further savings, live music was replaced by a recorded one and celebrities - regardless of their musical training and experience - were hired to guarantee large audiences. Musicals require that the performers are skilled actors, dancers and singers. The recent trend in Slovak productions does not always provide for this.
O. Dlouhy, Divadelny ustav, Jakubovo namestie 12, 813 57 Bratislava 1, Slovak Republic
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