The 19th Jewish Culture Festival – Singer’s Warsaw. This Festival is always up-to-date
Only a few months ago we all thought that from now on, things would be fine. That we would finally breathe a sigh of relief and enter the first Festival year after the COVID-19 pandemic with joy. That we’re gonna have all the meetings, all the departures, and arrivals, which we had to put off for so long, or which had to be canceled at the last minute, which also concerned many of the artists we invited, that all of this would take place. Unfortunately, this year started with war just behind our borders. Although Singer’s Warsaw is a cultural festival, we are not indifferent to what is happening around us and this year we decided to invite more artists from Ukraine, as well as artists who support our neighbors in their projects.
And although for many the beginning of 2022 was marked by sad or even tragic events, we fervently believe that our festival will be at least a small moment of respite and emotion, and perhaps even moments of joy. We sincerely hope so!
We make Singer’s Warsaw together! Our wonderful audience, wonderful artists, and the institutions we cooperate with:
In line with the Festival’s tradition, two arts will dominate: music and theater – so we’re gonna have big outdoor concerts, chamber concerts, and recitals, as well as Singer Jazz Festival concerts. We will also have plenty of theater premieres and well-known plays, monodramas, and performance readings. This year’s program will also include meetings dedicated to literature, music, and history, film screenings, as well as lectures, workshops, exhibitions and city walks. We are still working on the detailed program but everyone is certainly interested in the events that will be offered and where we will meet
Below is a short guide to this year’s Festival:
THE JEWISH THEATRE, 35 Senatorska Street / The Club of the Command of Garrison in Warsaw, 141a Niepodległości Ave.
Summer Stage and Szymon Szurmiej Small Stage located at 35 Senatorska Street are sort of “family” stages for us, they belong to the Festival’s partner and host – the Jewish Theater. Here, on the edge of the Saxon Garden, monodramas will be staged, recitals and concerts will be presented and the meetings with festival guests will take place. This year, the Jewish Theater stages will host, among others: a musical show with original compositions by Hadrian Filip Tabęcki, featuring live music, i.e. “Yentl” by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Leah Napolin, directed by Robert Talarczyk, based on the short story “Jentl” by the Nobel Prize winner, and another theater show embedded in literature – “Planet B” based on the novel “Hospital of the Transfiguration”, “Voice of the Lord” and Stanisław Lem’s letters, written and directed by Krzysztof Popiołek. Furthermore, the audience will have the opportunity to see music and cabaret shows, recitals and other projects prepared by the actors of the Jewish Theater and one of the most appreciated events prepared every year by the Director of the Festival, Gołda Tencer, i.e. “In Mama Sonia’s Kitchen”.
But that’s not all – the guests will also give concerts on the Summer Stage, Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk, and the Kol Ishe Trio with their program The Jewish Songs of Ukraine – Shpil Mir A Dumke! The Ukrainian artist, Natalia Utesheva Kasyanchyk, in a project “The Hassidic nigun, a prayer without words”, as well as TROI – Quartett from Austria with musical arrangement of Rajzel Żychlinski’s lyrics, Italian jazz ensemble, Francesco Bruno Ensemble, Anna Riveiro in a repertoire of Sephardi songs, Adrianna Dorociak presenting pieces from the “Leśmian/Fantazje” project, as well as Genady Iskhakov, Zygmunt Sieradzki, Sława Przybylska, Janusz Tylman and others.
THE NOŻYK SYNAGOGUE 6 Twarda St.
For years, we had the honor to organize here the gala concerts opening of the Festival and Havdalah that marks the end of the Sabbath, during which the past echoes mingle with the singing of the great contemporary cantors, Nachman Turgeman and Netanel Olivtski.
This year, in addition to events bringing up the unique atmosphere of this place, the last and the only Warsaw synagogue that not only survived World War 2 but is still active today, there will be jazz and chamber music concerts. During the opening of the Jazz Festival, Oleś Brothers & Dominik Strycharski will present their new project “KOPTYCUS”. This year’s classical concert “Webern, Wajnberg, Mahler – reflections” will be presented by Marcin Zdunik and Harmonium Duo, that is Hubert Giziewski & Iwo Jedynecki. The BASTARD Trio featuring Paweł Szamburski (clarinet), Tomasz Pokrzywiński (cello) and Michał Górczyński (double bass clarinet) will present mystical Jewish songs without words – Hassidic Niguns.
TEATR KWADRAT, 138 Marszałkowska St.
We are pleased to announce that this year, thanks to the hospitality of the management of Kwadrat Theater, and the former neighbors from across Marszałkowska Street, there will be a lot happening on our friendly stage again! We’re going to see artists who need no introduction: Nina Stiller, Raphael Rogiński, and Natalia Przybysz (premiere concert!), as well as, presenting the world music repertoire, Francesco Bruno Trio and the phenomenal actress and singer Silvia Lorenzo from Italy. Hebrew tangos (premiere concert!) will be presented by Marcin Masecki, loved and cherished by the audience, and for the first time at the Festival, an outstanding musician Eldar Tsalikov from Germany.
AUSTRIAN CULTURAL FORUM, 7/9 Próżna St.
With equal pleasure, we will welcome our audience at another friendly venue, the Austrian Cultural Forum, during meetings, lectures, exhibitions, and workshops. This year, the ACF will again host the Literary Salon moderated by Remigiusz Grzela and the series of Jewish Culture Lovers Club or Masters Read, thus allowing us to listen to the best Jewish prose in the best interpretations of famous actors. The details of this year’s events will follow soon.
YIDDISH CULTURAL CENTER, 15 Andersa St.
This year, the Yiddish Cultural Center and the University of the Third Age (UTW, for those of you who don’t know it yet, the UTW is located at the YCC) will also open their doors for us. The Yiddish Cultural Center is the place to which we invite you during the Festival not only for the open days of the Yiddish Cultural Center and the University of the Third Age but also for scientific sessions, lectures, and meetings.
BIŁGORAJ, LEONCIN, RADZYMIN, NEW YORK
One could say that Biłgoraj, Leoncin, and Radzymin are just tiny bits of the Singer’s Warsaw Festival. But it is not the entire truth because before the patron of our Festival, the Nobel Prize winner, Icchok Bashevis Singer, arrived in Warsaw and later settled in New York, it is exactly there, in the then Polish shtetls, where everything had started, his interest in literature and perhaps his first attempts to write. We do remember it and this is the reason why this year, even before the Warsaw edition starts, the first musical notes and first Jewish skits will be heard in those places.
We’ll save the Festival’s finale for last… And this year (just as every year) there’s plenty to look forward to! The last time, the pandemic stopped her from coming but this year it will happen! The final concert of the 19th Singer’s Warsaw Festival will belong to YASMIN LEVY.
The great concert of this wonderful Israeli artist, which will take place (yes!) in Teatr Wielki (The National Opera House), will be accompanied by Gang Tango – a line-up in which Sebastian Wypych plays the first violin – albeit on double bass – accompanied by: Grzegorz Lalek, Yechiel Hasson, Mirek Feldgebel and Piotr Kopietz. The name “Gang Tango” is a hint, so we will only add that during the concert we will see a tango show performed by Anna Iberszer and Piotr Woźniak.
The best way for a warm-up before the finale concert is, of course, the Klezmer Night, which will return to Plac Defilad (Parade Square) this year. It will certainly be colorful and loud. Instead of a long description, these few words will suffice: KOMMUNA LUX – Klezmer & Odessa Gangsta Folk from Ukraine. Welcome!
Singer’s Warsaw Festival project has been financed by:
The Capital City of Warsaw, Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund under the program “Music” implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance, Minister of Interior and Administration, Polish-German Cooperation Foundation, the Embassy of Israel in Poland, Italian Institute in Poland
Mazowieckie Voivodeship Government, ZAIKS Authors’ Association, Ester Rachel and Ida Kamińskie Jewish Theatre in Warsaw – Yiddish Cultural Center, Teatr Kwadrat Edwarda Dziewońskiego, the National Opera House, Austrian Cultural Forum, Jewish Commune in Warsaw, the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews POLIN, E. Ringelblum Historical Institute, Warsaw Ghetto Museum, Plac Defilad (Parade Square) Project, Polish Filmmakers Association