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The Warsaw Voice » Hit of the month » June 17, 2010
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The Wild Day or Chopin Open
June 17, 2010   
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The La Folle Journée classical musical festival is making its first trek from Nantes, France, to Warsaw and will be renamed the Chopin Open here in honor of the great Polish pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin.

La Folle Journée, which means “The Wild Day,” takes its name from Pierre de Beaumarchais’s play The Wild Day, or The Marriage of Figaro, on which Mozart’s famous opera is based. The festival now lasts up to five days. La Folle Journée dates back to 1995, when René Martin, a musician who had already organized several concerts and festivals in France, came up with the idea of getting people who had little exposure to classical music to come to classical music concerts. The idea struck him while leaving a U2 concert.

“I wanted to ease the newcomer to classical musical into becoming acquainted with Schubert’s Impromptus and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring,” said Martin.

La Folle Journée was held in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1999 and in Bilbao, Spain, two years later. The festival made its first appearance outside Europe in 2004 when it was held in Tokyo, Japan.

Martin came up with a new classical music format in order to make serious music accessible for those not accustomed to long pieces made up of several movements. First, he limited each performance to 45 minutes. Second, he scheduled around 50 performances during the course of the day and reduced ticket prices to make them easily affordable to most people. Season ticket holders could choose their own program by moving from stage to stage, as is usually the case with popular music festivals. As a result, La Folle Journée attracts people from all over the world.

The Warsaw version will cover three days during which some 450 artists will be putting on around 120 performances at the National Theater, the Wielki Theater and in a tent on Teatralny Square (free admission).

The Chopin Open will cap off the international tour that is La Folle Journée. This year has already seen festivals in Nantes, Bilbao, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro with almost 400,000 people attending around 600 concerts.

June 11-13
National Theater, Wielki Theater/National Opera
Teatralny Sq.
Tickets: zl.5, zl.7 and zl.10
For more information, www.chopinopen.pl
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