Peter Čanecký was born in 1957 in Slovakia. He studied set and costume design at the Drama Faculty of the University of Performing Arts in Bratislava with Professors Ludmila Purkyňová and Otto Šujan. He graduated in 1983 and in the same year he was engaged by the J. G. Tajovský Theatre in Zvolen. There he designed sets and costumes for a number of plays, among them, Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Twelfth Night, Ostrovsky’s Wolves and Sheep, Porubjak’s Sancho Panza’s Growing Wise. In the meantime, he also worked for theatres in Trnava, Martin and Nitra.
Between 1988 and 1990 he was a member of the New Scene Theatre in Bratislava, where he designed sets and costumes for a number of productions, for example: Mayakovsky / Šulaj: The Bath, Örkény: The Toth Family, Schwajda: Holy Family, Bulgakov: The Crimson Island, Topol: A Nightingale for Dinner. At the same time, he collaborated with the drama section of the Slovak National Theatre (Goldoni: Pining for Vacation, Hampton: Dangerous Liaisons).
Since 1991 he has taught at the set design department of the University of Performing Arts in Bratislava, where in 1998 he was appointed senior lecturer and in 2006 became professor. One of his ten commandments of teaching is “the ability to find sense for nonsense”.
Peter Čanecký has taken part in three residencies abroad: in 1991 at the Academia Minerva Groningen in the Netherlands, in 1993 at Nottingham Trent University in England and in 2004 at Mikkeli Polytechnic in Finland. His artistic activity does not only include the set and costume designs for drama productions he has prepared for many Slovak and foreign theatres - especially worthy of mention from among his most recent works are: What’s Left of Love (N. Simon) for Studio L+S, Štepkov’s The General for Radošin Naïve Theatre in Bratislava, Moliére’s Le Misanthrope for the Slovak National Theatre. He is also the author of a host of set and costume designs for opera (Slovak National Theatre - Tchaikovsky: The Maid of Orleans, Bizet: Carmen, Verdi: Macbeth), as well as operetta and musical, ballet and dance theatre. He has designed sets and costumes for a number of films too: L. Halama: Hide and Seek, J. Jakubisko: It is Better to Be Rich and Healthy Than Poor and Sick, and Unclear Report of the End of the World, Čanakyová: Cruel Pleasures.
He has regularly displayed his creations at the Prague Quadrennial (1987, 1991, 1995) and in 1994 he had an independent exhibition at the House of Culture in Piešťany. He is the holder of the DOSKY ´97 award for the best production of the 1996/97 season (Ostrovsky: The Forest, stage direction: R. Polák), and the DOSKY 2006 award for the best costumes (A. P. Chekhov: Ivanov, SKD Martin), the Best Costume Award for the film Albert, Albert at the 1997 Moscow International Film Festival, the Prize for the Best Set Design for the ballet Ivan the Terrible from the Dance Association of the Czech Republic and the Union of Dance Art in Slovakia in 2003. Peter Čanecký has to date designed costumes for more than 230 productions staged by Slovak and Czech theatres as well as 30 television productions and films, and in the case of one third of them he also created the set designs. He has also worked on seven successful feature films.
Photo: Bohdan Holomíček
Update: May 2007