Lužánky Park was opened at the end of the 18th century and is one of the oldest public parks in Central Europe. In 1855 the architect Ludwig Förster designed a Neo-Renaissance restaurant in the centre of the park known as the Casino. Many different social events were held here including lectures, exhibitions, concerts and balls. As a child, Janáček performed in public concerts here from 1866 to 1869. At the age of sixty-five, when he moved to the house in the garden of the Organ School on Smetanova street, the composer would go to the park for a walk nearly every day and noted many speech melodies, particularly birdsong. In 1908 there was a plan to build the Czech National Theatre on the corner of Lužánky Park.
I remember a ridiculous scene with the Maestro when we were walking in Lužánky Park one day after a midday rehearsal, discussing The Cunning Little Vixen. A small problem had arisen during the rehearsal - how to present the scene when the vixen drives the badger out of his den so that she can live there herself. Janáček accompanied the words "here's a gift from a lady" with a gesture revealing to all the noonday passers-by how he envisaged the scene. For this scene the vixen changed into a dog-fox so that it might be more graphic.
Memoirs of the director Ota Zítek