"Marie Curie" the Opera on Stage in Paris

The international premiere of Elżbieta Sikora's opera "Madame Curie" celebrates the Polish Presidency of the European Council and the International Year of Chemistry

The Baltic Opera in Gdańsk presents an operatic work dedicated to the life and times of Polish scientist, Maria Curie. The opera's composer is Polish artist Elżbieta Sikora. Agata Miklaszewska, known for the musical "Metro" composed the libretto. The performance is comprised of 10 soloists, a 30-person choir, dancers from the "Bałtyckiego Teatru Tańca" / "Baltic Dance Theatre" and a symphony orchestra that also features saxophone, accordeon and electronic music elements.

The libretto is inspired by the life of two-time Noble Prize-winner, whose achievements came as breakthroughs in the fields of science and technology. The opera also focusses on Skłodowska's private life- from her early years in Poland to her life in France.

Director Marek Weiss says that: "few people...understand the scientific milestones that her work led to" and that Curie "has a rightful position in the pantheon of national heroes". He hopes 2011 "will deepen" this recognition, calling the scientist a "role model'' for both himself and his children. "We wanted to tell the story of this unique woman, who conquered the world despite her many hardships..."

2011 is an especially important year for Polish culture. Firstly, its the year of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council. It is also the International Year of Chemistry (as coordinated by UNESCO) the patron of which is Skłodowska–Curie.

The "Madame Curie" opera is the first opera of the "Opera Gedanesis" series: a project run by the Baltic Opera in Gdańsk and funded by the city of Gdańsk. The series is ongoing between 2011 -2016. Future operas include the "Gdański Europejczyk" / "Gdansk European" opera, which tells the story of the Gdańsk-born philosopher Artur Schopenhauer and "Romeo i Julia z Krakowa" / "Romeo and Juliet from Krakow" (working title). The Baltic Opera in Gdańsk was established by Iwo Galla Music/ Drama Studio and has a sixty year tradition In 2010 it was recognised by the BBC as one of the nine best theatre operas in Europe.

The Paris performance of the opera 'Madame Curie' marks the opera's world premiere. It will premiere in Poland at the Opera Bałtycka on the 23rd of November.


Score: Elżbieta Sikora
Libretto: Agata Miklaszewska
Producer: the Baltic Opera in Gdańsk.
Adaptation: Elżbieta Sikora, Gregor Blumstein
Direction: Marek Weiss
Musical Direction: Wojciech Michniewski
Set Design: Hanna Szymczak

The lead role is performed by Anna Mikołajczyk (soprano).

The UNESCO conference hall in Paris was inaugurated in 1958 and built by world-renowned architects Walter Gropius, Charles le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer and Lucio Costa. It hosts both political and cultural events.

Patrons of the year of 'Marie Curie':
Mr. Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage
Ms. Barbara Kudrycka, Minister of Science and Higher Education
Mr. Mieczysław Struk, Marshal of Pomorskie Voivodeship
Mr. Paweł Adamowicz, President of the City of Gdansk

The performance will be accompanied by an exhibition organised by the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Museum. 

For more information, see: www.operabaltycka.pl

Date: 15th of November, 2011 (7pm)

Venue: UNESCO conference hall, Paris

Organised by: 'Państwowa Opera Bałtycka' / 'Baltic Opera in Gdańsk', Polish Institute in Paris

Partners: the Polish Institute in Paris, Polish UNESCO delegation, the Marie Skłodowskiej-Curie Museum in Warsaw, the French Institute in Warsaw. Performed by ensembles and soloists of the Baltic Opera in Gdańsk.

Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.

Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute

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