Postcard Chopin without PianoUp next from the Cooper Series:
Created by CENTRALA (Warsaw)
Directed by Michał Zadara ‘99
Text by Barbara Wysocka and Michał Zadara
Performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Conducted by Bassem Akiki
Performances in Polish with English supertitles

On-Campus Performance: CHOPIN WITHOUT PIANO
Saturday, Oct. 24, 8 pm
Lang Concert Hall
Free and open to the public without advance reservation
For information: 610-690-3489 or

Philadelphia Performances: CHOPIN WITHOUT PIANO
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Oct. 28-30, 8 pm nightly
Saturday, Oct. 31, 2 pm (with roundtable discussion afterwards)
FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
$25 general admission/$15 Student and 25-and-under
For tickets:

Michał Zadara and Barbara Wysocka are among the pre-eminent Polish theater artists of their generation, and are active internationally in both theater and opera. Zadara, who first studied theater and directing at Swarthmore, has emerged as Poland’s most significant and innovative director of the Polish classical and contemporary repertory. Wysocka’s accomplished acting and directing career was preceded by eight years of classical violin training in Germany. Together they founded CENTRALA to create works that cross traditional lines of performance and artistic practice.

Chopin Without Piano is a large-scale performance piece in which the piano parts for Fryderyk Chopin’s two piano concertos (Opus 11 in E minor and Opus 21 in F minor) are replaced by Wysocka performing a virtuosic monologue in Polish with English supertitles. Wysocka captures Chopin as a dynamic living presence, using fragments of the composer’s letters, biographies, and commentaries on his work. The orchestral scores will be performed by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, led by Bassem Akiki, a leading Polish conductor affiliated with Warsaw’s National Opera, who is making his American debut. Chopin Without Piano presents new possibilities for theater and music to intersect in performance, and reveals how classical composers and music remain alive and relevant for us today.

Considered a contemporary classic in Poland, Chopin Without Piano has been successfully performed in both concert venues and theaters. The performances of Chopin Without Piano in Swarthmore and Philadelphia mark the first international tour of the work, and will be followed by an engagement at Arts Emerson in Boston.

“Chopin’s Voice: Chopin’s Music in Performance”
Sunday, Oct. 25, 3 pm
Lang Concert Hall
Participants: Michał Zadara, Barbara Wysocka, Bassem Akiki, Jeffrey Kallberg (University of Pennsylvania), David Kasusic (Occidental College)
Moderator: Barbara Milewski (Swarthmore College)

“Chopin’s Body: Chopin as Theater”
Saturday, Oct. 31, 4:15 pm
FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
Participants: Michał Zadara, Barbara Wysocka, Bassem Akiki, Tamara Trojanowska (University of Toronto), Tom Sellar (Yale School of Drama)
Moderator: Allen Kuharski (Swarthmore College)

Week of Oct. 19-23
Michał Zadara and Barbara Wysocka will lead a series of workshops with interested theater students on a schedule to be announced in October.

Bassem Akiki, together with Zadara and Wysocka, will lead a master class and discussion with the Swarthmore College Orchestra on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Major support for Chopin Without Piano has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the William J. Cooper Foundation, and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Warsaw). Chopin Without Piano at Swarthmore is presented by the Departments of Theater and Music & Dance, and is co-sponsored by the Dance Program and the Departments of English Literature, Political Science, and Modern Languages & Literatures.

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