In recent years, Greek audiences have been treated to a number of performances by Krzysztof Warlikowski, a key figure in contemporary theatre and opera. (A)pollonia
was premiered in Warsaw’s Teatr Nowy
, an institution Warlikowski directs, in May 2009. The inaugural production was held in its vast new multi-purpose auditorium, and then the work went on to enjoy a triumphant reception at the Festival d’Avignon
, which is less an interpretation of a play than a gigantic collage of texts, images, stage conventions and techniques, historical issues, figures and myths, blurs the line between director and auteur. A meditation on the meaning of sacrifice, it focuses on three women: Iphigenia, Alcestis and Apolonia Machczyńska, a Pole who lost her life trying to save 25 Polish Jews during World War II. Warlikowski turns to a series of disparate texts, from the Oresteia
to Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones
, in an effort to understand sacrifice as heroism, but also as a vain act which, disproportionate to human nature, underscores war’s brutality and irrational structures.
The Holocaust is present throughout the production as the director strives to examine it from the victim’s as well as the perpetrator’s viewpoint. He often links figures from myth with historical questions which wander still, unanswered: Agamemnon speaks through an SS officer, while Alcestis raves about animal rights at the last supper before her death. The generally non-theatrical texts give his exceptional cast ample opportunity for top-flight solo performances.
, the solidly impressive stage mechanism, the enormous and complex projections closely monitoring the actors’ every response, and the operatic composition all serve the needs of the familiar, the confessional, the meditative.
Direction: Krzysztof Warlikowski
Texts: Euripides, Aeschylus, Hana Krall, Jonathan Litell, J.M. Coetzee
Adaptation: Krzysztof Warlikowski, Piotr Gruszczyński, Jacek Poniedziałek
Set Design and Costumes: Małgorzata Szczęśniak
Music: Paweł Mykietyn, Renate Jett, Piotr Maślanka, Paweł Stankiewicz
Lighting Design: Felice Ross
Dramaturgy: Piotr Gruszczyński
Songs/Lyrics & Vocal: Renate Jett
Cast: Andrzej Chyra, Magdalena Cielecka, Ewa Dałkowska, Małgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik, Danuta Stenka, Wojciech Kalarus, Marek Kalita, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Adam Nawojczyk, Maja Ostaszewska, Magdalena Popławska, Jacek Poniedziałek, Anna Radwan-Gancarczyk, Monika Niemczyk, Maciej Stuhr, Tomasz Tyndyk
Musicians: Paweł Bomert, Piotr Maślanka, Paweł Stankiewicz, Fabian Włodarek
Video: Paweł Łoziński, Kacper Lisowski, Rafał Listopad
The Polish premiere of (A)pollonia took place in May 2009 in Warsaw.
POLISH-LANGUAGE PRODUCTION WITH GREEK SURTITLES
Translation into Greek: Dimitris Houliarakis
A Masterclass by a Great Master