Tereza Svitáková from PwC works at PwC Global Visa Solutions and helps companies relocate their future employees from abroad to the Czech Republic. Her team assists in arranging all kinds of residential and work visas which are required. Moreover, Tereza can be the one helping you arranging all that’s needed if you go on a business trip abroad as an employee of PwC. In her free time, Tereza is successful at doing one activity which may be considered as a hazardous one practicable only in late hours of a Christmas party - she sings. What’s more, she is so good at singing that her choir can now be supported on its way to the Carnegie Hall.
Tereza, how long have you been working at PwC?
It’s currently less than two years since I’ve been working here full-time. I joined PwC in 2015 when I was still at school. I worked as an assistant and took foreigners to local authorities helping them arrange all documents required for work in the Czech Republic. I’d done this job for three years, so now it’s nearly five years since I joined the company.
Is it possible to combine school and hobbies when working at PwC?
It’s much easier now that I’ve graduated, but during my university studies it was sufficient for me to work two and a half days per week, so even then I could manage. Rehearsals with the choir where I sing take place once per week, and since I’m lucky to be learning by the ear, I practically don’t need to use sheet music. I just listen to the music and sing along. I’m not the type of a chorus singer who comes home in the evening and sings all over the place. So it’s quite possible for me to combine it all.
Could you describe to me the choir with which you plan to get to the Carnegie Hall in more detail?
The choir is called Cancioneta Praga and it’s formed by selected chorus singers of Bambini di Praga and Radost Praha choirs who no longer sing for children’s choirs. The choir was formed in 2010 and since then we have performed in South Africa or in Germany, for instance. We sing anything from classical music via “Letem světem” folk music to famous film hits, such as the ones from Sister Act.
How did you get to singing? I used to be told “please don’t sing” - so how is it possible that someone can manage the opposite?
I’ve been singing since the age of seven, so I can’t imagine I should ever stop doing it. In any case, my mum is an opera singer and when she rehearsed her arias, I tried to copy her. My parents thought I might have some talent in me, so they took me to an audition at Bambini di Praga which I passed and got accepted. And I’ve been singing ever since.
How difficult is it to sing in a choir? Rehearsals once a week sound quite easy compared to professional sports trainings...
During the course of the year, the schedule is not too tight, so we have rehearsals every week and approximately ten concerts. However, before Christmas, it’s always very busy and only in December we have 12 more concerts... So it’s approximately 30 concerts per year in total. Some of them are official concerts which may be attended by anyone, we also do concerts only for us and our friends and supporters, and there are also concerts for companies and institutions which hire us to sing at their parties or other events. Our concerts at the Old Town Square and at the Church of St. Nicholas are very popular and the atmosphere there is always wonderful.
Have you ever tried karaoke, for instance? How was it? And I don’t mean just you and your performance, but also the other performers.
I have tried it alone and even with the choir. Sure, you meet people who can’t intone properly, but if they enjoy it, why not?
You are currently looking for sponsors for your first concert at the Carnegie Hall at HitHit, how have you managed to do that?
We haven’t even been too active in searching, but we do share videos at YouTube and have been found by an agency looking for choirs from all around the world. They asked us whether we wanted to participate in a concert at the Carnegie Hall called the “Music for Women’s Voices” and, as a matter of course, we agreed because it’s an opportunity of a lifetime and you may never get this chance again. Sending a choir to New York costs a lot of money, though, so that’s why we launched the HitHit campaign. The thing is, the Carnegie Hall is a dream of every artist. We have already sung at the National Theatre, at the State Opera, but the Carnegie Hall is top place. It’s a huge investment for us, but we have a contractually-guaranteed PR campaign which should help us be better-known in the future.
I expected the prizes to include CDs and performances, but you offer prizes of all kinds. What can I get from supporting you?
Our target amount is CZK 250,000 and currently we have three quarters of it. That's why we decided to use the trigger power and to offer anything we can - better karma, massages, scarves crocheted by one of our colleagues, having a go at dubbing at Česká televize, where another colleague works, a private concert - all that in return for some funding.
When should your performance take place?
We fly there on 31 March and will stay in New York for approximately a week. The concert itself is only held on 5 April, but there are dress rehearsal to take place before that.
The HitHit campaign called Cancioneta Praga can be found here .
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