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The Warsaw Voice » Heard in Passing » August 26, 2010
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Les Mis at the Roma
August 26, 2010   
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Warsaw’s Roma Musical Theater is busy gearing up for the premiere of their latest mega-production Les Miserables Sept. 25.

The Roma has obtained the rights to put on a non-replica version. This means that you can watch a copyrighted version under the direction of house conductor Wojciech Kępczyński.

Kępczyński is working with a crack team of professionals, many of whom have collaborated with him previously on other projects. Here, we might mention musical director Maciej Pawłowski, costume designers Magdalena Tesławska and Paweł Grabarczyk, stage designer Grzegorz Policiński, choreographer Paulina Andrzejewska, and libretto translator Daniel Wyszogrodzki.

Just under 800 people auditioned for the cast. Janusz Kruciński stars in the main role of Jean Valjean; Łukasz Dziedzic is his nemesis, Inspector Javert; Marcin Mroziński plays Marius Pontmercy; Paulina Janczak is Cosette, the object of Pontmercy’s love; Edyta Krzemień is Fantine, Cosette’s mother; and Łukasz Zagrobelny is the charismatic leader of the revolutionary students in the Paris uprising.

Les Miserables, affectionately known as Les Mis by its legions of fans, is a musical adaptation, composed in 1980, of the eponymous 1862 novel by the great French writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885). Claude-Michel Schönberg composed the score and Alain Boublil penned the libretto.

Les Miserables had its world premiere in Paris in 1980 and has since been staged in more than 40 countries. It premiered in London’s West End in 1985 and this year, the British capital clocked up 10,000 performances to set an all-time world record and blitz anything on Broadway.

Staging Les Miserables is daunting in the extreme. The complexity of the characters, the relationships between them, and the labyrinthine plot, which unfolds in several locations over a period of decades and examines every conceivable aspect of human existence, calls for an untrammeled imagination and an understanding bank manager. The Roma should be up to it, though, if their performances of The Phantom of the Opera are anything to go by.

Les Mis has unleashed a whole slew of modern classics, including I Dreamed a Dream, Who Am I?, Master of the House, One Day More, A Heart Full of Love, Stars, Bring Him Home, On My Own and the instantly recognizable Do You Hear the People Sing?
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