The Russian side of the project involves leading cultural institutions of the country, including the Bolshoi Theatre, Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre, State Institute of Art, DSCH Publishers, Muzykalnoye obozrenie national newspaper as well as Sverdlovsk Drama Theater, Urals Mussorgsky Conservatoire and the Sverdlovsk Regional Organization of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia.
The Polish side is represented by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw. For the Polish side the project is supervised by musicologist and journalist Alexander Laskowski. The project also involves the Tolerance Centre (Krakow) and the Memorial Complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is a leading cultural organization in Poland. Established by the Polish Government on 1 March, 2000, it was named for Polish national poet Adam Mickiewicz. The Institute is funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland. Its goal is to promote the Polish language and Polish culture abroad. The Institute operates a bilingual Polish-English portal called “Culture.pl” created in 2001. The Institute collaborates closely with Polish Cultural Institutes in over 20 major cities outside Poland including Moscow, New York, Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, Vienna, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Kiev, Minsk, Prague, Sofia, Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest, Vilnius as well as in St Petersburg, Düsseldorf, Leipzig and other cities.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute has played a substantial role in the organization of the project “Mieczyslaw Weinberg. The Passenger. Russian Stage Premiere” since its inception. Shortly after the project had been announced, Head of the Expert Group of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute Alexander Laskowski, а well-known Polish journalist, music and public figure, was invited as a project consultant. In July 2015, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute organized a trip to Poland for the project supervisors Andrei Shishkin and Andrei Ustinov. During the visit a project cooperation agreement was signed between the Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute arranged a meeting between the project supervisors and Zofia Posmysz, the author of the radio play Passenger from Cabin Number 45, which served as the basis for the libretto of Weinberg’s opera. A video interview with the writer was recorded and it was agreed that she should come to Ekaterinburg for the premiere of The Passenger in September 2016. It is known that the Adam Mickiewicz Institute will provide a comprehensive support for Mrs Posmysz’s visit to Ekaterinburg.
In August 2015, director and designer Thaddeus Strassberger went to Poland and also met with Zofey Posmysh and visited Auschwitz. According to Strassberger, visiting Auschwitz and meeting with Z. Posmysh proved to be decisive factors in shaping his director’s and visual concepts of the future production.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute took an active part in the presentation of the project in Moscow and Ekaterinburg. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, along with the Muzykalnoye obozrenie national newspaper and the State Institute of Art, were among the organizers of the first-ever international musicological conference “Russia – Poland: A Musical Dialogue” which was held in Moscow in November 2015. On 17 November, 2015, as part of the conference and on the initiative of Andrei Ustinov, a meeting was held at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia and a Protocol on joint participation in the organization and running of the international conference “Weinberg. A Re-Discovery of the Composer” dedicated to the creative work of the outstanding composer to be held in Moscow in February 2017 was signed. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, along with the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre, State Institute of Art and Muzykalnoye obozrenie national newspaper are among the organizers of the conference “Weinberg. A Re-Discovery.”
A presentation of The Passenger project in Ekaterinburg (April 2016) is also organized with the participation of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw. The Institute provided sheet music for the performance of Weinberg’s symphony No. 8 Kwiaty Polskie to the verses by Julian Tuwim. On the suggestion of the Polish partners Мonika Wolińska, one of the promising conductors of the younger generation, has been invited to conduct the Ekaterinburg premiere of the symphony.
Official information agent of the project: Muzykalnoye obozrenie national newspaper
A leading Russian publication devoted to classical and contemporary classical music. For over a quarter-century, Muzykalnoye obozrenie has been performing its primary mission which implies establishing a single musical and information space on the territory of our country. The newspaper was founded in 1989. One of its founders was Tikhon Khrennikov, leader of the Union of Soviet Composers. Boris Dementman, Executive secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers, and well-known actor and musical figure Pyotr Merkuriev were also among the founders of the newspaper. Since 1991, Andrei Ustinov has been Editor-in-Chief of Muzykalnoye obozrenie.
For 26 years, over 400 editions of Muzykalnoye obozrenie have been published: chronicle of events, facts, people, trends and problems of musical Russia at the turn of the century. History and multivolume encyclopedia of Russian musical life.