About The Festival

41st Stage Songs Review will take place in Wrocław on March 20-29, 2020. The festival “life after 40” begins where the old meets the new, the safe meets the different, the “I like it” meets the “I’d rather not”.

Concerts that focus most attention every year are the Finale of the Song Interpretation Contest and the Gala. The Finale consists of two parts. The first part – performances of the finalists – will be directed by Paweł Palcat. In the second part, Ralph Kaminski will perform Kora’s songs. The Gala concert, “A Bunch of Love Songs”, will be directed by Jan Klata.

Women’s voice becomes louder and louder at the festival. Kovacs, hailed by the Netherlands media as the new Amy Winehouse, has a voice with a raw tone, unconventional appearance, and each of her concerts is a real tour de force of vocal possibilities. She tells her own story. “I don’t want to be negative about my past,” she says, “I just want to use it”.

Magda Kumorek – actress and singer, will perform her new solo project: restrained elegant lyrics and compositions – a story about the condition of a contemporary female artist, for voice and piano.

Renata Przemyk, one of the most charismatic Polish vocalists will sing in duets with men: among others Adam Nowak, Czesław Mozil, Marek Dyjak and John Porter.

Mary Komasa is the voice of the thirty-year-olds’ generation, she sings about matters concerning hundreds of thousands of girls and women, and yet she distances herself from mass popularity.

Pussy Riot – loud form, strong views, explicit content. For their public activities in the homeland and abroad they pay a very high price.

“Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story” – klezmer-folk songs composed by the outstanding Canadian musician Ben Caplan tell about life choices dictated by love.

Ivo Dimchev, a Bulgarian performer and choreographer, composer and singer, winner of international awards, recognized teacher and promoter of young art, refers to the queer aesthetics in his emploi, yet in an ambiguouos way. He has an unusual timbre and impressive vocal skills.

Salvador Sobral from Portugal, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, returned to the stage after a heart transplant and sings the apotheosis of life, joy and hope.

The theatre play “Be Like Beata” with the songs of Polish pop-rock star, Beata Kozidrak, proves that (at least in the theatre) everything is possible – even the plainest retired policeman, nun or bistro owner can “be like Beata”.

“Golden Rock. A Story About Robert Brylewski” – a tale about the godfather of the Polish punk becomes an opportunity to ask elementary questions about life choices. “It’s always good to look back to recognize the destiny we choose,” says Grzegorz Laszuk, director of the show.

“Other People” from TR Warszawa – the text by Dorota Masłowska in the theatrical adaptation of Grzegorz Jarzyna is the first musical in the career of this director. It is “an attempt at a portrait of late capitalism and the problems it causes: economic and social inequalities, frustration of the young generation, growing nationalism. It is a story about a dysfunctional, divided community bursting with prejudice and hatred”.

On the first day of the festival we will see a special episode of the “Improkracja & Capitol” series, in which the festival Grand Prix winners: Justyna Szafran, Artur Caturian and Mikołaj Woubishet will perform along with the Improkracja actors.

The review will close with the concert “God! Homeland! What Homeland?” directed by Bogusław Sobczuk – on the stage Jan Frycz, Daniel Olbrychski and Andrzej Grabowski as well as the finalists of the song interpretation contest.

As always, the program is complemented by the night concerts at the Festival Club. Kirszenbaum, Siksa, Tymon Tymański, Kumbia Mać, Gooral and Ben Caplan will play here.

Seven off stream performances selected in the script competition are being prepared.

“Remember the gardens”, the prophetic words of Jonasz Kofta – the chorus of the review hymn – oblige. A year ago, we planted 40 trees for the festival’s jubilee, this year we are trying to prepare the festival even more “green”. To start with: we don’t print press material, and the bags have been sewn from the flags from previous editions.

The author of the poster is Jacek Staniszewski, painter, graphic artist, musician, professor and lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, set designer and costume designer, poster designer for concerts, performances, exhibitions, known for his collaboration with many Polish musicians. The poster can be bought in the Capitol store and online, for PLN 20.

The trailer for the festival was prepared by Media Concept Group, featuring: Bożena Bukowska, Aneta Mazur and Tomasz Leszczyński from the Capitol Musical Theater.

This is probably the only festival in the world devoted entirely to the art of song in the theater. Today, on stage – not only musical but also, and perhaps above all, in a dramatic theater – the song is no longer just an addition. This is a legitimate way of presenting creative thought, sometimes more important than the spoken word. To watch how music and word complement each other and co-create a new quality is the core sense of the Wrocław festival.

The festival first appeared on the Polish cultural scene over 40 years ago. It is one of the few Polish festivals of such importance and long traditions. The form of the festival has expanded in the recent years, becoming an increasingly international event, therefore gaining a wider audience. Each year here in Wroclaw, we host many celebrities, as well as the most prominent Polish theatre and song artists, many of whom made their debut during the previous editions of the Review.

They have one thing in common: charisma in the interpretation of songs. So far, we have hosted in Wrocław, among others: Jamie Cullum, Laurie Anderson, Marianne Faithfull, Nick Cave, Patricia Kaas, The Tiger Lillies, Antony (and the Johnsons), Gogol Bordello, Amanda Palmer, The Magnets, Brendan Perry, Lisa Gerrard, John Cale, Mark Lanegan, as well as the legendary Berliner Ensemble with Robert Wilson’s The Threepenny Opera, Christoph Marthaler’s Fruchtfliege  from the Volksbuehne Theater or Vladimir Pankov War Chekhov International Theater Festival and Edinburgh International Festival in cooperation with SounDrama Studio).

The festival is financed by the Wrocław Community.
The Organizer of the festival is the Capitol Musical Theater in Wroclaw.

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