Leszek Możdżer, photo Marek Dusza
Solidarity of Arts is an international cultural event that refers to the traditions of political and social freedom through the universal language of art and music

This year's edition of the festival is dedicated to two major events: the 30th anniversary of the Solidarity movement and the Frederic Chopin Year celebrating the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth. The program includes concerts, stage and movie premieres, artistic workshops and debates. Also featured are symphony concerts inspired by Solidarity themes and composed especially for the festival, as well as theatre pieces depicting events from contemporary Polish history.

On September 5, the Baltic State Opera hosts the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's Macbeth, directed by Marek Weiss-Grzesiński and starring Leszek Skrla, Vittorio Vitelli, Katarzyna Hołysz, and Magdalena Meziner. Weiss-Grzesiński's adaptation of the legendary work, which takes a glimpse at the Macbethian obsession with power and impending madness through the perspective of recent Polish history. On September 8, the same venue hosts a performance of "Biała Bluzka / The White Blouse", a play based on the short story by Agnieszka Osiecka, directed by Magda Umer and starring Krystyna Janda. This popular play from the 1980s tells the story of a woman tangled up in the chaos of Poland during the Martial Law period, capturing the state of mind and emotions of people living in the country during that era. The main attraction of the festival featured an open-air performance from Możdżer +, led by acclaimed jazz pianist Leszek Możdżer on the city's Coal Market Square on August 21. This is a major collaborative undertaking that features brilliant jazz musicians from Poland and around the world on three consecutive stages. Special guests include: Naná Vasconcelos (Brazil), Lars Danielsson (Sweden), Zohar Fresco (Israel), Marcus Miller, Alex Han and Louis Cato (USA), Motion Trio (Poland), John Scofield, Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart (USA), Aukso Chamber Orchestra (Poland) Gaba Kulka (Poland), Eddie Daniels and Charles Fox (USA). The show is directed by Krzysztof Materna.

On August 29, the Polish Baltic Philharmonic premiered the latest work by Pawel Mykietyn IVO XXX, performed by the Symphonic Orchestra of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic and the National Philharmonic Choir in Minsk, under the baton of Reinbert de Leeuw. The piece was commissioned by the European Centre of Solidarity and the Solidarity of Arts festival on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the rise of Solidarność. The 70-minute composition was arranged to be performed by a choir, a symphonic orchestra with subtle use of electronic elements. It is a one-act piece, divided into 5 sections. The first one, a tutti by the choir and orchestra, represents the power of the unity behind the birth of the solidarity movement. By the end of the section, interferences come to "jam" the music through the electronic sound of "censorship". The culminating point is song inspired by the folklore of the Babia Góra, which symobolises the end of the "Solidarity carnival".

Honourary patronage of the event is held by the legendary leader of Solidarność, Lech Wałęsa.

For more info on the festival and program, see: www.en.solidarityofarts.pl

Source : press materials

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