Śluby panieńskie – the National Theatre, Warsaw
After I talked to Englert, I knew that he wasn’t expecting any stylization or going back to the far Fredro past. It was more about showing emotions. Solitude, love… and I focused on that – says Leszek Możdżer before the premiere of “Śluby panieńskie” in the National Theatre in Warsaw.
There will be surprises – is the way to present “Śluby panieńskie”, which will have it’s premiere in the National Theatre on April 21st. Some of the surprises are revealed by Leszek Możdżer.
Was the offer to compose the score to Śluby panieńskie” a surprise?
I admit, I wasn’t convinced by the text itself in the first place. It seemed old and not up-to-date, but as the time goes by, while working on it and through getting to know it better, it turned out that I was wrong. The questions it asks are always up-to-date. Besides, I like new challenges. It was more of curiosity than surprise.
Were you aware of the fact that Englert expects something special?
He gave me a lot of space. And now we’re talking about surprises. The biggest was the room for music that the director found. Usually it is just an addition, it stays in the background. Here it’s totally different.
There really is a lot of music to the point where even the dialogues and monologues are accompanied by it. It is pretty unusual. I admit, it was a surprise for me, but a nice one. But to correctly set the music in some contexts I used every opportunity to be in the rehearsals. I wanted to see how the play develops, how the director sees the spectacle.
Where you looking for an idea for a long time?
After I talked to Englert, I knew he wasn’t expecting any stylization or going far back to the Fredro past. It was more about showing emotions. Solitude, love…And I focused on that.
I could of course have used electronics but it didn’t seem like a good idea to me. So it’s all played live by musicians, a string quartet. As far as the melody is concerned, I decided to whistle it.
Yes, the melodies are whistled. The subject of love, wedding seemed worth it.
Can the score from “Śluby” exist separately?
Of course it can. Besides, I didn’t use everything I wrote in the spectacle. I always compose and record more material so I have a choice.
Metro No 1071
The premiere of “Śluby panieńskie” on Saturday, 21st of April, directed by Jan Englert. Starring Kamilla Baar and Marcin Hycnar.
Aleksander Fredro wasn’t always satisfied with stage adaptations of his plays. When he was invited to the premiere of “Śluby panieńskie” in Lvov (1865), after seeing that his character Albin – to the audience’s joy – squeeze water pretending to be tears from the wet handkerchief, he left the room and even slammed the door.
– “Śluby panieńskie” is wonderful, it’s perhaps the most beautiful romantic comedy. But how to play it? With style or contemporary? And what does it mean with style or contemporary? – wondered Jan Kott a while back.
Jan Englert asked himself similar questions while preparing the show in the National Theatre. He wanted to be faithful to the text and yet to marvel and surprise the audience. “I don’t demolish the classic, just interpret it my way, I read it through my own sensitivity”. And he doesn’t hide the fact that there will be a hint of nostalgia for the old days. The director added some texts from other Aleksander Fredro plays:”Trzy po trzy” and “Zapiski starucha”. This pensive character adaptation will be stressed through music, created especially for the theatre by Leszek Możdżer. The creators reveal that the set decoration, made by Barbara Hanicka, is going to be a surprise too.
National Theatre. “Śluby panieńskie”
ŚLUBY PANIEŃSKIE – National Theatre in Warsaw, premiere: 21-04-2007
Teatr Narodowy. “Śluby panieńskie”
Dorota Wyżyńska, Gazeta Wyborcza Stołeczna nr 93 20-04-2007