André Rieu, Johann Strauss I and Johann Strauss II, Jacques Offenbach, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Galt MacDermot, as well as Maanam, ABBA, and last but not least, Moniuszko! What is the link that ties these apparently distant, if only in part, music worlds?
First of all: as you may know, the Teatr Muzyczny of Poznań musical theatre is getting a new building. The winners of the architectural contest have just been announced – the theatre will be designed by Atelier Loeglerof Kraków.Will the building become a new Poznań landmark? That I do not know. What I do know, however, is that it needs to house a functioning theatre hall with excellent acoustics, furnished with state-of-the art technical facilities, as the hall and the stage are the heart of any theatre building. This is what I wish for all the artists and the audience who will be using the theatre in the future.
Secondly: Przemysław Kieliszewski, the Director of the Teatr Muzyczny proposed that Malta Festival Poznań stage its final concert on the plot where the future theatre building will be erected. He concluded his proposal with the following words: “Perhaps in a few years we will be hosting Malta concerts and performances there on a regular basis”. Well, you only live once, as afterwards you can only ghost the living – I thought and replied: “Let’s give it a go!”.
The operetta-cum-musical performance may not be the most common formula and musical genre you would expect at the Malta Festival Poznań. Let me put it bluntly – we have not ever staged an operetta or musical at the Malta Festival do date! After I shared my decision with my co-workers, part of the programming team started pulling their hair out and threatened me with going on strike (all right, a slowdown, they said) and tried to talk me out of the idea via talks and negotiations claiming that this was not ‘our thing’, and that we’d better not do it… Alas, the Festival Director MM, aka ‘Father Director’ as dubbed by those who wish him well or ‘the DJ of the episcopate’ by the envious and ill-meaning, remained unmoved by the pleas. Therefore, staying true to the principle: “If you do not take risks, you end up in the loony bin”, let me say the following:
I would like to cordially invite you to the Malta Festival Poznań 2019 final concert: Operetta. You are living in the Matrix!
At the concert you will hear outstanding artists who will perform the most beautiful and loved musical pieces. The ones you know and love (even if you would never admit this in public), that you like to hum or sing – most likely at the top of your voice (whatever that voice may sound like) at weekend get-togethers, BBQs, beer bars and around bonfires during incentive travel, and, last but not least, at karaoke parties! The show will be illustrated by Biała! Alicja Biała, a Polish-Danish-British madonna of the visual arts or – as you would say yesteryear – simply an artist. Irony and primarily self-irony are the two key characteristics that we lack today. We seem less capable now than before of distancing ourselves from reality and from ourselves. Please be sure to bring with you to the concert some irony and quite a bit of ironic detachment. They will certainly come in handy! I sincerely hope that our Operetta will both moving and entertaining for you.
Please join us!
Malta Festival Poznań Director