The 5th Contemporary Opera Festival will conclude on 3 December (6 pm) at the Wrocław Opera (ul. Świdnicka 35) with a premiere that fits squarely into the expanded formula of the event (the eponymous ?plus?). This year?s edition?s opera showcase has been expanded and includes the ballet piece Eufolia | Ambulo. The former was choreographed by Jacek Przybyłowicz, who used music by Wojciech Kilar, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, and the young Cologne-based Polish composer, Prasqual, while the latter piece was choreographed by Jacek Tyski to Louis Andriessen?s De Stijl. The list of contributors to the project also includes Anna Sekuła (costume designer), Ewa Krasucka (multimedia projections in Eufolia), Piotr Bednarczyk (multimedia projections in Ambulo), and Olga Skumiał (lighting director). The performance will also feature the entire ballet company of the Warsaw Opera.
Frank Zappa famously said that ?writing about music is like dancing about architecture.? Would dancing new music thus be like the architecture of old writing? The departure from the tonal interplay of tension and relaxation in the early 20th century avant-garde surprisingly coincided with the abandonment of the all-pervading pulse. Bogdan Pociej used to write about a pulse of breathing that was still perceptible in the last scores of Romanticism?if so, this pulse went out of breath in Stravinsky?s ballets, and developed a full-fledged apnoea in Webern?s aphorisms. How does one dance to music with no rhythm, with broken, changeable or towering rhythm? (?) How can this be interrelated? Prasqual?s contemporary electronics, Górecki?s Old Polish stylizations, Andriessen?s jazzy energy, and Kilar?s mystic deceleration?it is difficult to conceive of greater extremities. Naturally, contrast has long served as a reliable binding agent with great musical forms and the classical idea of ?unity in diversity?, yet against all the appearances, each of the four pieces?filtrated through the prism of movement and stoppage, repetition and pause, hearkening to the past or gazing into the future?prove to have a lot in common.?
Jan Topolski, Tańczące Madonny [Dancing Madonnas]; the excerpt comes from the programme of the performance Eufolia | Ambulo, Wrocław Opera 2017
Choreography and decorations, Eufolia: Jacek Przybyłowicz
Choreography, Ambulo: Jacek Tyski
Costumes: Anna Sekuła
Multimedia projections, Eufolia: Ewa Krasucka
Multimedia projections, Ambulo: Piotr Bednarczyk
Lighting design: Olga Skumiał
Wojciech Kilar ? Piano concerto
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki ? Three pieces in old style
Prasqual ? Eufolia
Louis Andriessen ? De Stijl
Cast: Ballet Company of the Wrocław Opera
Developed with the support of the Municipality of Wrocław
Co-financed by the Institute of Music and Dance as part of the programme Music and Dance ? Interventions 2017.
The Contemporary Opera Festival has been held at the Wrocław Opera since 2008. Its leading idea has been to present the premieres of contemporary bills staged at Polish opera theatres. The formula of this year?s edition has been expanded, as indicated by the accompanying ?+? suffix added to the festival?s name.