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Quartet (Kwartet)

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Ronald Harwood “Quartet”
Translated by: Michał Ronikier
Directed by: Edward Wojtaszek
Set: Paweł Dobrzycki
Assistant of the set designer: Katarzyna Bajak-Karas
Music and music arrangement: Katarzyna Brochocka
Premiere: May 10, 2015

The Quartet is a play, in which the key roles are played by the opera soloists, spending the autumn of life in a luxury retirement home for musicians. The quiet life of ribald Wilf, refined Reg and and good-natured Cissy is destroyed by the unexpected visit of Reg’s ex-wife, an opera diva Jean Horton. Not only she spoils their relations, but also constantly thwarts their plans because she does not want to take part in mandatory performance – a quartet from Rigoletto by Verdi, in which all four of them at one time celebrated triumphs. Preparations for the last joint concert become a pretext for retired singers both to recall their glory years and twisted personal life, as well as to show the life of artists, full of success in gleams of flashes and failures in bitter solitude.

The author of the Quartet is Ronald Harwood, one of the most popular British writers, well-known playwright and screenwriter, the author of e.g. The Dresser and the screenplay for the Oscar-winning film The Pianist, directed by Roman Polański.

Performers of the final quartet of “Rigoletto”:

Conductor: Richard Bonynge

Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra

Singing: Huguette Tourangeau, Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes

Starring: Ewa Pietras, Jolanta Teska, Jarosław Felczykowski, Michał Marek Ubysz.
Duration: 2 hours (with a break)

The music for the performance was recorded by the band composed of: Andrzej Wyrwicki (double bass), Mariola Majrowska (violin), Krzysztof Blek (viola), Beata Wiącek-Felczykowska (cello).

Quartet (Kwartet)

From the review:

The performance is an engaging and comforting story about old age – our characters believe that the body grows old and dies, but the spirit always remains young. However, they abandon the bitterness attributable to the old – they prefer to make fun of passing time. Our singers mock of their automatisms, they do not allow themselves to dwell on the past. Despite the fact that their profession constantly revolved around youth, they agree to their fate. The last scene, in which in bad makeup, old and lame they pretend to sing an excerpt from Verdi’s great work is in fact the praise of life (Grzegorz Giedrys, “Gazeta Wyborcza” – Toruń nr 112, 15.05.2015).

Translated by: Michał Ronikier
Directed by: Edward Wojtaszek
Set: Paweł Dobrzycki
Assistant of the set designer: Katarzyna Bajak-Karas
Music and music arrangement: Katarzyna Brochocka

Ticket prices: normal – 25 PLN, reduced – 18 PLN, school – 16 PLN