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Musical Theatre In Poland Essay

1270 words - 6 pages

In Poland, unlike in the West (especially the United States), musical theatre has always stood on the sidelines - treated as entertainment at rather low level, ignored not only by the political world but also by the theatre makers. Most of the Polish theatres, until 1989, led a policy of filling the room to the highest capacity at the lowest cost. Not to mention that the aim of most of the productions was not to shape the tastes but to flatter people who watched the musical productions presented in that period of time. It was a consequence of the wrong management system in the theatre, where the artistic value of the work wasn’t valuable at all. The only important thing was to get positive ...view middle of the document...

As for the times, it was an innovative approach to musical theatre, which initiated a new approach to the genre in the whole country.

George Gruza taking the Directorate of Musical Theatre in Gdynia, managed to introduce western titles from the ‘top shelf’, and made more than seven hundred people to watch some of the musicals almost every week. Titles such as ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘Man of La Mancha’ were not descended from the repertoire for several seasons, becoming a further indicator of the artistic level for subsequent years. How difficult is it to reach the same level of the performances Matthias Korwin knows best. He was a successor of George Gruza and over the years he was struggling with stagnation in the Polish musical theatre scene. In the past seasons - when not only repertoire, but the performers have been rejuvenated, his work started to bring the expected results. It was possible again by introducing some of the Western hits such as ‘Hair’, ‘Footloose’, ‘Fame’ and ‘Kiss Me, Kate’, to the Polish realities. Not without significance is the fact that Polish musicals started to emerge at the same time. It was the first musical theatre scene hosting such a big amount of native productions. Some of the most significant ones, produced in Gdynia, are: trans opera ‘Midsummer Night's Dream’ by Wojciech Kościelniak , with an excellent and challenging music by Leszek Możdżer, the first Polish dance show ‘Opentaniec’ and a hip-hop show ‘12 benches’ by Jaroslaw Staniek . Highly appreciated by the audience and critics was last premiere by Musical Theatre in Gdynia - ‘Francisco’, the story of St. Francis, by Wojciech Kościelniak with libretto by Roman Kolakowski and music composed by Peter Dziubka.

The research for new forms of musical theatre, however, is still rare in Poland. Such a challenge is too much for most of the theatres. In addition to the Musical Theatre in Gdynia, which is the indisputable leader in Poland, there is Wroclaw Musical Theatre named ‘Capitol’, whose makers became unequivocal faces of avant-garde musical performances. With a big productions like: ‘Tangerines and oranges’, ‘Fever’ and most recently ‘Scat’ and ‘Stink in the mountains’, the Capitol became the face of a new generation of musical. Some people love it, others do not spare criticism - characteristic features of these performances include not popular yet musical pastiche and a wealth of musical and theatrical forms.

Other institutions have adopted a policy of creating theatre, which does not enter into discourse with the audience. Their determinant of success and artistic craftsmanship is the issuance of the world hits and archaic, stereotyped operettas. However, there is hope that musical theatre scene in Poland may have...

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