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.
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