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New Musical VIRTUOSO Has World Premiere in Poland

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The musical is inspired but the life of world famous pianist, composer, and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

New Musical VIRTUOSO Has World Premiere in Poland

On September 12th, the world premiere of the new musical Virtuoso took place at the Musical Theater in Poznań. Virtuoso is inspired but the life of world famous pianist, composer, and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

New York based writer Matthew Hardy, who won a multi-stage competition for a musical about Paderewski, is the author of the book, music and lyrics. Andrew Fox was responsible for the orchestra and vocal arrangements.

The cast of Virtuoso features leading Polish musical theater actors including Barbara Melzer as Helena Modjeska, Oksana Hamerski as Helena Paderewska and Januz Kruciński as Ignacy Paderewski.

The show is directed by Jerzy Jan Połoński, with choreography by Paulina Andrzejewska-Damięcka, music direction by Radosław Mateja, set design by Mariusz Napierała, and costumes by Agata Uchman. Artistic support was provided by Brian Kite, dean of the Department of Theater, Television and Film at the University of California, Los Angeles. The texts were translated into Polish by Lesław Haliński and Przemysław Kieliszewski.

On November 10, Virtuoso will premiere at the Polski Theater in Warsaw. The performance will become part of the celebration of Polish Independence Day - when Poles celebrate the anniversary of regaining independence after 123 years of partitions

The musical was founded on the initiative of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Who is Ignacy Paderewski? Paderewski has the distinction of being the first soloist to play Carnegie Hall. He was a household name in America and Europe and played concerts all over the world. After the outbreak of World War 1, Paderewski stopped performing to focus his energies on helping his native country of Poland regain their independence. He was successful in his efforts and became Prime Minister of the newly-independent Poland in 1919.

Ignacy Paderewski was a man of many gifts and a true rock star of his time. To bring his story to life for modern audiences Matthew Hardy has created a score that fuses rock, R&B and gospel with classical music compositions by Paderewski, Chopin and Beethoven.


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