July 31st marked the beginning of the 31. INSKIE LATO FILMOWE / 31st INSKO FILM SUMMER, which is one of Poland's oldest film events and is simultaneously the largest and most interesting cinema gathering in the north of the country. Read more »about: 31st Insko Film Summer
The Impossible Collection is an exhibition of the collection of the **link*Wyspa Progress Foundation*http://www.wyspa.art.pl**, translated, transferred, taken to impossibility. A collection usually constitutes one of the traps of the institutional format. Its exhibition often builds definitions, generates unambiguity, systemises permissible meanings. Read more »about: Translate - The Impossible Collection
The music of Stanislaw Moniuszko (1819-1872) continues to enjoy unwavering popularity. This is particularly true of his most famous operas - HALKA, STRASZNY DWOR / THE HAUNTED MANOR and HRABINA / THE COUNTESS - and his dozens of songs, which have throughout their history inspired generation after generation of Poles. Mid way through the 19th century, the composer played a very significant role in Polish music, particularly in the realm of opera. Moniuszko effectively brought Polish opera into the modern age and granted it its national character, using it to explore national tradition and issues of social equality and imbuing it with the richness of human feelings, desires and deeply emotional experiences.
The first edition of the MONIUSZKO FESTIVAL began on July 15, 1962, on the ninetieth anniversary of the composer's death. This first festival lasted eight days, each of which was filled with concerts featuring artists of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw and an orchestra and choir conducted by Wladyslaw Skoraczewski. The second edition of the festival opened with a staging of HALKA performed by the ensemble of the Wroclaw Opera. Since then, Moniuszko's operas have been a permanent fixture of the Kudowa-based event, and the festival program has expanded to include operas by other composers apart from Moniuszko, including Donizetti, Mozart, Smetana, Verdi and Zelenski. The town's Teatr Zdrojowy (Spa Theatre), Teatr pod Blacha (Tin Roof Theatre), Pijalnia (Well-Room) Concert Hall, Park Zdrojowy (Spa Park), as well as churches in surrounding towns have repeatedly hosted performances of Moniuszko's works, including his operas and masses titled HRABINA / THE COUNTESS, PARIA, VERBUM NOBILE, FLIS / THE RAFTSMAN and LITANIE OSTROBRAMSKA / LITANIES OF OSTRA BRAMA, and his cantatas MADONNA and WIDMA / THE GHOSTS (set to lyrics by Adam Mickiewicz). Thus far, the MONIUSZKO FESTIVAL in Kudowa Zdroj has featured appearances by several thousand singers and musicians, renowned opera companies, symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles, stars of the operatic and theatrical stages of Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, Cuba, Lithuania, Mexico, Germany, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, the USA and Italy. Artistic directors of this invariably fascinating music event have included such notables as Wladyslaw Skoraczewski, Leon Hanek, Ludwik Mika, Ewa Kofin, Zbigniew Goncarzewicz, Jerzy Flic, Maria Foltyn, and most recently Slawomir Pietras, who is simultaneously artistic director of the Grand Theatre in Poznan.
Headlining the program for this year's edition of Kudowa's MONIUSZKO FESTIVAL will be a concert by the men's vocal sextet AFFABRE CONCINUI. Founded in 1983 by two alumni of Poznan-based choirs, Stefan Stuligrosz and Jerzy Kurczewski, the ensemble's repertoire ranges from Medieval madrigals through contemporary works, jazz standards and pop hits, and its credits include eleven recordings. AFFABRE CONCINUI is scheduled to perform at 7:00 p.m. on 27 August 2004, at the Spa Theatre. This concert will be followed by an appearance by the "Castle Brass" Kornik Castle Band (28 August, 2004, 4:00 p.m., Spa Park), a performance of Ernst Theodore Amadeus Hoffmann's opera "Undine" (28 August, 2004, 7:00 p.m., Theatre at the Source), an event titled "Moniuszko tanczony noca" / "Moniuszko to Dance to at Night" featuring the soloists of the Lower Silesian Opera in Wroclaw (28 August, 2004, 10:00 p.m., Tin Roof Theatre) and a performance of Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly" (29 August 2004, 7:00 p.m., Theatre at the Source). The festival is also scheduled to include the "Razem w Europie" / "Together in Europe" Moniuszko Workshops, which will culminate in a series of chamber music concerts: "Moniuszko a opera czeska" / "Moniuszko and the Czech Opera" (27 August 2004, 11:00 a.m., Spa Well-Room), "Moniuszko a opera rosyjska" / "Moniuszko and the Russian Opera" (28 August, 2004, 11:00 a.m., Spa Well-Room) and "Moniuszko a opera niemiecka" / "Moniuszko and the German Opera" (29 August, 2004, 11:00a.m., Spa Well-Room). Particularly noteworthy among other planned events are the Moniuszko Parade through the streets of Kudowa Zdroj, scheduled for Sunday, and regular public broadcasts of archival recordings of the works of Stanislaw Moniuszko.
The performance of UNDINE will be the first-ever Polish production of this exceptional Romantic opera by Ernst Theodore Amadeus Hoffmann (1776-1822). Composed in 1814-15, it tells the fantastic and magical story of the water goddess Undine, who can gain an immortal soul if she is graced with the love of a man. The staging to be presented in Kudowa Zdroj was mounted at the Grand Theatre in Poznan (conducting and musical direction by Maciej Wieloch, directed by Uwe Drechsel, production design by Robert Kaja, featuring soloists Roma Jakubowska-Handke, Jaromir Trafankowski, Barbara Gutaj, Rafal Korpik, Andrzej Ogorkiewicz, Urszula Jankowiak, Andrzej Bullo, Barbara Nowicka and Karol Bochanski). It is distinguishable for both the numerous comical elements it contains and for its enchanting, fairy tale scenery. E.T.A. Hoffmann lived and worked in Poland in the years 1800-1807. In 1800 he became a court assessor in Poznan, and was subsequently transferred to Plock in 1802. In 1804 he settled in Warsaw, where he collaborated with Jozef Elsner and Heinrich Lentz in organizing symphony concerts, and one year later founded a music society called the "Resursa Muzyczna" / "Music Club" (it was this organization that lead to the first-ever performances of Ludwig van Beethoven's symphonies in Warsaw). In 1801 in Poznan, Hoffman staged two of his singspiels, "Scherz" and "List und Rache," while in 1804, once already in Warsaw, he proceeded to stage another of his works - "Die lustigen Musikanten."
Additional information: Moniuszkowskie Towarzystwo Kulturalne ul. Zdrojowa 24, Kudowa Zdroj tel. (+48 74) 866 13 87 www.kudowa.pl
The events held in March as part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Hong Kong International Film Festival will provide Hong Kong residents with a unique opportunity to encounter with Polish literature, jazz and classical music as well as animation. The artists to perform in Hong Kong include: Maciej Fortuna, Kroke, Anna Maria Jopek and Mariusz Wilczyński. Read more »about: Encounters with Polish Culture at Festivals in Hong Kong
In Tower. A Bright Day a family drama clashes with metaphysical horror and forms a touching and mysterious story. The debut film of Jagoda Szelc is a result of her untamed imagination and great artistic ambitions. Read more »about: Tower. A Bright Day – Jagoda Szelc
In this alternative history of Mikołaj Kopernik, also known as Nicolaus Copernicus, Culture.pl investigates painting, secret societies, cartography, medicine, currency reform and more to show you a bigger picture of the man responsible for one of the greatest revolutions in the history of astronomy. Read more »about: Copernicus: Revelations about the Renaissance Man
Women only began to write cookery books and guides in the 19th century, whereas previously they had merely been readers. These also served as a vehicle for their own views – sometimes conservative, sometimes emancipatory. Their books not only described techniques for preparing fashionable dishes, but also contained information on the role of women in Polish society. Read more »about: The Beginnings of Emancipation in Poland: 19th-Century Women’s Cookbooks
Home of Copernicus, an incredible Mediaeval town centre, and a lot of gingerbread, the city of Toruń is an often-overlooked marvel. Easily reachable from Gdańsk, Bydgoszcz and Warsaw, visitors to Poland should make it a key part of any trip. Sasha Vasilyuk explains how to make the most of this fascinating uniquely-preserved treasure. Read more »about: A Few Hours in... Toruń
Pioneering composer Elżbieta Sikora, long-standing art director of the Musica Electronica Nova festival in Wrocław, talks about electronic music, its history and the way it is today. ‘Digital sound has reached a certain limit, and once again we are searching for something more lively, dirty and imperfect,’ she feels. Read more »about: Taming the Machine: An Interview with Elżbieta Sikora