February Rehearsanalia

This February, the snow has melted, and Łódź has been full of rehearsals. A busy month. Many of the other Fulbrighters, especially those who work on a university schedule, have traveled out of town recently. I’ve been here and at the theater.

The first meetings for the next round of UMRZEĆ W ATENACH//TO DIE IN ATHENS started up again on February 4th. This time, I’ve been holding separate meetings for the High and Low Choruses, as well as working with elementary and high school students in their schools. This means that, as opposed to the usual light Parallel Octave model of meeting only once a week, which I have gotten very used to since 2009, I am in rehearsal for this project at least three, and more like four to five, days a week until it happens. It’s been awhile since I’ve done this.

The UMRZEĆ W ATENACH reading coming from these rehearsals will take place on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at 18:00, at Fabryka Sztuki (ul. Tymienieckiego 3) in Łódź, as part of the Dotknij Teatru (Touch Theater) festival.

In addition, I’ve also been taking part in rehearsals for the Wielki Chór Młodej Chorei (the Great Choir of Young Chorea), including accompanying them to sing at a recent event at Studium Teatralne in Warsaw. The WCMC will be presenting a new edition of their “Pieśńi Świata” (Songs of the World) concert at the same Dotnkij Teatru Festival in March.

Finally, I’ve been enjoying the rehearsals for “Gilgamesz,” a new and musically complex piece composed by Tomasz Krzyżanowski for choir plus orchestra. We are about to enter a week of intensive day-long work on this piece; the singers who make up the “Gilgamesz” choir live all over Poland, as well as outside of Poland, so Krzyżanowski can only assemble them for short periods of time. I’ve been working with him on some of the text for this piece–working with a pair of scissors, cutting down a Polish translation of the Gilgamesh myth to a more manageable, settable length. “Gilgamesz” will premiere at the Łódź Philharmonic on April 14.

This weekend, I also completed a rhyming English version of an adaptation of Broniewski poems, assembled by director Marta Górnicka for her Chór Kobiet in Warsaw. The piece, Chór Kobiet’s third, will be called REQUIEM MASZYNY (REQUIEM FOR THE MACHINE). Working from a literal version, it was great fun to try to put back in as many of the rhymes as possible. The English version is just for subtitles, but Chór Kobiet tours often and internationally, so their subtitles get quite the workout.