It's Hard to Get to Bródno

Arcytrudno dojechać na Bródno (It's Hard to Get to Bródno)

Opera staged by Cezary Tomaszewski

Premiere: Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2018

Arcytrudno dojechać na Bródno is an exotic opera fusing theatre, music and visual art based on motifs from Moniuszko's Paria, which was first presented as part of a performative art programme of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw.

Tomaszewski sets the action of the opera in Warsaw’s Bródno district, where he lives, relating the theme of social inequalities taken up by Moniuszko to the contemporary reality of the Polish capital. Having taken on board the widely discussed issue of the orientalism in Moniuszko’s Paria, the director looks in this narrative about Bródno for traces of local identity. What is crucial for Tomaszewski in this project is the appropriation of the right to representation and the replacing of the ‘original’ voice with an external discourse that creates the specificity of Warsaw’s districts. The moment in which the Warsaw district of Bródno becomes a mythical land of the ‘Other’, close to the ‘oriental’ visions of India – that exists in the world of culture only through the mediation of the storyteller – is the starting point for embarking on a number of performative acts based on the motifs of the Paria. An important point of reference for the creation of the opera is Werner Herzog’s film Fitzccaraldo. What does Herzog’s storyline set in Warsaw’s Bródno tell us?