Janek Ledecký

 

JANEK LEDECKÝ

Music, book, original Czech lyrics

 
Janek Ledecký is one of the most popular czech music stars. He first grabbed the attention of the public as a frontman for the rock band Žentour. They released their first album Žentour 001 in 1987. In 1989 they won the TV hit-parade Triangl with the song Utajený světadíl 3x in a row and they also won the Bratislava lyra with the song Promilujeme celou noc at the most prestigous international music festival in Czechoslovakia. Všechno bude fajn followed as the next single and Žentour was catapulted from rock clubs to stadiums. The Album Žentour 003 became the best selling album on the market. After that they made the album Žentour 005 with the legendary hit Proklínám. Two gold albums and one silver one put them on the top of radio and television music charts.

In 1992 Janek decides to go his own way. His first solo album „Na ptáky jsme krátký“ was so successful that he became a true megastar of show business. His success was confirmed with a number of prestigous awards (Silver Slavík, 4x Bronze Slavík, Bravo award…) During the christening of his solo album Janek made a symbolic premiere bungee jump on the ground of the federation. And during the shooting of a video clip injured himself while parachuting and could not play on the guiter for more than a year and a half… we are too short for birds (Na ptáky jsme krátký).

Janek’s second album Pravě teď came out in 1993 while he played the lead role in the musical Pěna dní at the ABC Theater in Prague. During May of 1994 the album was awarded a gold album. In the fall of the same year his third live album came out, Jenom tak. During the following two months he recieved another gold album and his video recording from one of his concerts under the Warner Brothers label was awarded best video of the year. With producer Ivan Král (Patti Smith, Iggy Pop) Janek records his ablum Některý věci jsou jenom jednou. Songs from this album fill up the entire „TOP 10“. In Febraury of 1996 the album is not only rewarded gold but platinum as well. In 1996 Janek releases a new album Sliby se maj plnit o Vánocích. This becomes gold immediatly and the concert which is shot by Czech TV breaks all previous records. The christmas songs from this album became the symbol of the Christmas atmosphere for the next few years.

In 1997 Janek is awarded the Czech Grammy (Zlatý Anděl) for singer of the year straight from the hands of Chris Rea. During the spring of the same year he records a new album named Mít kliku and signs an exclusive contract with BMG. The following year Janek works a year on the retelling of Shakespear’s Hamlet in the form of a rock musical. It premieres during the first, second and third of November in the new Prague theater Kalich. The musical together with it’s 700 performances and three CDs (best hits, complete recording and symfonic recording – two gold albums), became a tremendous success in the Czech Republic. There were 150 reruns of it at the New Scene in Bratislava.

Encouraged by it’s record success Ledecký finished a new musical inspired by the life of the famous Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei. The musical named Galileo was one of the most anticipated premieres of 2003. After it was introduced at the Kalich theater on Febraury 15th 2003 it had 400 more showings. And once again recieved gold and platinum albums.

In September of 2003 the first stage reading of the Hamlet musical took place in the Lamb’s Theater in Broadway with such stars as Louis Pitre from Mamma Mia, John Hickok and Delisco from Aids and Jeremy Kushnier from Rent as Hamlet. The show was awarded by the TRU organization as one of the three best stage readings of 2003 and recieved a grant for the performance. But the most significant result of the reading was that the well-recognized theater director Robert Johanson decided he would join the team. And under his wing Janek modified the Czech original into an „american adaptation“.

The first oppurtunity for presenting a piece of this adaptation came in April of 2004 in the Abingdon Theater in New York. Jeremy played as Hamlet once again together with Josh Tower (Simba in Lion King) in the role of Horacio, PJ Benjamin (Mr. Cellophane from Chicago) in the role Polonia and other famous Broadway names. The team made the final adjustments during the summer. In the summer of 2005 they decided to fine tune the play in the place where it all began. The result of the „exemplery performance“ of the new adaptation at the Prague Kalich theater with Sebastian Arcelus in the role of Hamlet and Cullen Titmas as Laert, was an excited reaction from the public, fantastic reviews and a DVD that contains a recording the entire performance.

In october of 2007 Hamlet was introduced to the South Korean city Soul. On the day of the premiere there were 68 musicals being performed and even so, Hamlet became a hit with the Korean musical industry. It came second in selling the most tickets right after the first public general rehersal. The second performance of Hamlet in Korea took place in February of 2008. It was nominated as the best foreign musical together with Hairspray and Sweeney Todd. In 2009 and 2010 it had 350 reruns. In 2010 Janek together with Robert finished a musical adaptation of Shakespear’s Othello with the name IAGO. On October 20, 2011 at the Universal Arts Center in Soul a fourth study of Hamlet began, this time with Robert Johanson as director.

In Febraury 2012 it premiered in Tokio. The hopelessly sold out show continued in Nagoy and Osaka. And on March 22nd of 2012 the international version was introduced at the Prague theater Broadway. And adding to all this Ledecký premiered a new musical Vánoční zázrak on 30.11.2011 at the Broadway theater. The performace immediatly became the hit of the christmas season and from then on it was played every year of the first day of advent.

In 2015 Janek introduces his duet album „Všichni dobří andělé“. And a year later he follows with a significant album „Na konci duhy“. Tens of sold out concerts were the reward for success of the album.. His son Jonáš, who is a talented comic book artist, wrote one of the songs on the album. His daughter Ester has become an international snowboard and skiing celebrity in the meantime.