The idea of making the apparently difficult classical music more accessible to a large audience was what René Martin had in mind more than 20 years ago when he organised La Folle Journée for the first time. Today, this international festival inspires a passion for music and attracts throngs of listeners to concert halls in France, Japan, Spain and Poland. The sixth Polish edition of La Folle Journée will visit the Teatr Wielki – the National Opera on 25-27 September 2015.
Following in the footsteps of editions devoted to the music of Chopin, “Titans” of composition and music from various corners of the world, including France, Spain, Russia and America, the sixth edition of the festival promises to be equally passionate. The theme of this year’s La Folle Journée is “Passions of Heart and Soul”. A loaded programme of nearly sixty events will prove how differently music from various ages and regions expresses emotion – both human passions and lofty religious exultation.
During the festival, hosted by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra and the Ogrody Muzyczne Foundation, we will have an opportunity to listen to the romantic phrases of a Beethoven piano concerto played by 2nd prize winner of the most recent Chopin Piano Competition Lucas Geniušas. A dance atmosphere will be introduced by red hot thythms of the tango arranged by Richard Galliano’s sextet. The leader is a renowned French composer and virtuoso of the accordion. The music of Astor Piazzolla will also be played by guitarist Krzysztof Meisinger, who will perform pieces by the Argentinian composer together with the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra. Not to be missed is a demonstration of the doctrine of baroque affections – a specific code of expressing feelings in music – this with the help of Arte dei Suonatori – an ensemble specialising in early music, which will perform fragments of operas by Henry Purcell. A recital of opera arias will be performed by Norwegian soprano Marita Sølberg. The organisers have also included two monumental works which have become milestones of 20th century music: Górecki’s cult classic, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs and the St. John Passion by Arvo Pärt, who will be celebrating his 80th birthday in September. The latter work will be performed by the Estonian Vox Clamantis ensemble under the direction of Jaan-Eik Tulve.
As always, the La Folle Journée Festival also puts an emphasis on educational projects. The programme of the Festival includes Smykofonia [Toddler Philharmonic] concerts intended for the youngest music lovers, aged zero to five. Our young listeners will have an opportunity to hear excellent pianist Marcin Masecki and tuba virtuoso Zdzisław Piernik, and also to dance to the rhythms of flamenco. Traditionally, Meetings with Instruments will be held in the foyer of the Opera. My Master is a new feature, allowing the audience to engage in conversation with artists. The festival also provides an excellent opportunity for young performers – students of music schools from all over Poland to showcase their skills and acquire on-stage experience. The arena to appreciate their efforts is the Kaleidoscope Hall – the great tent set up in the square in front of the Opera building.
For the three days of the festival, other halls of the Teatr Wielki will adopt new, colourful names. The largest Moniuszko Auditorium will transform into Crimson Hall, the Redutowe Rooms will become the Amber Hall. The mysterious back-stage area arranged to become another auditorium will be named Lavender Hall and the small Młynarski Auditorium will be called Turquoise Hall.
Not just an attractive programme but also low ticket prices (8-15 zł) have resulted in enormous audience interest. Last year, La Folle Journée attracted more than 37 000 listeners. The Festival is open to all – you just need to let yourself be swept up by a mutual passion for music.