Milk Opera

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This unique “opera” was dramaturgically tuned and directed by Mikołaj Grabowski, a mocker of national sins. Four excellent performers gracefully fill in this created world of gigantic humour, dragging the spectators into a “sketched” reality, whereas the set design and the costumes of Barbara Hanicka co-create a climate of “ridiculousness” and absurd. “It has to be admitted that the idea was quite unusual. To write a play in an operatic form on the basis of satirical drawings known throughout the entire country,” Jacek Wakar recounts with delight. All the commotion is caused by the excellent composer Stanisław Radwan and Andrzej Mleczko [“Mleczko” – the illustrator’s surname means “milk” in Polish]. The libretto of the performance is based on the stories drawn by him. The “Milk Opera” is a true opera. The actresses, Ewa Kaim and Anna Radwan, sing in alto and soprano, and their stage partners, Zbigniew W. Kaleta and Jakub Przebindowski, in tenor and bass. However, there is no operatic pretentiousness. The authors have managed to translate the humour of Mleczko’s drawings into the language of theatre. Radwan’s music is a gesture of respect towards all the people who still remember the golden age of Polish cabaret, primarily Piwnica Pod Baranami. Facetious songs and cantatas from the “Opera” are maintained in this specific climate.

Mikołaj Grabowski
Actor, director, teacher, professor at the Faculty of Play Directing at the Ludwik Solski Drama School in Cracow; director of the National Stary Theatre in Kraków between 2002 and 2012. He started working as a director together with Krystian Lupa in Jelenia Góra. Since then, he has worked as an actor, director or manager in theatres in Kraków, Łódź, Opole, Poznań, Gdańsk and Warsaw. In the Stary Theatre, he directed such plays as Gombrowicz’s “Tango”, “The Milk Opera” of Radwan and Mleczko, “One Hundred Years of Cabaret” (part of “In Michalik’s Cave”), Wyspiański’s “Liberation”, Moliere’s “Tartuffe”, Gombrowicz’s “Trans-Atlantic” and “Night” and “Waiting for the Turks” by Stasiuk.
He worked for the Television Theatre many times (inter alia “Who Let the Journalists In?”, “The Anthropos-Spectre-Beast”, “November”, “Memoirs of Soplica”, “Quartet for Four Actors”, “Iridion”, “Scenario for Three Actors” and “Trans-Atlantic”, as well as for German-language theatres. The three parts of Kitowicz’s “Description of Customs”, where the director made a suggestive attempt at diagnosing the unchanging “Polish nature”, were a huge success. Schaeffer’s “Scenario for Three Actors”, staged since 1987 (with Jan Peszek and Andrzej Grabowski), is also a unique phenomenon. Cooperation with T. Słobodzianek (“Citizen Pekosiewicz”, “Pekoś”, “Prophet Ilya”) turned out to be
very fruitful. The director conducts constant dialogue with Polish myths, which is testified to by his most recent plays: Gombrowicz’s “Diaries” in the IMKA Theatre and “Pan Tadeusz” in the Stary Theatre.

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  • PLN 45/30
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