Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Opole, Philharmonic of Poland

Always a delight to sit back and listen to the sounds of a fantastic orchestra.  Thanks to the Cambridge Concert Association’s reciprocity with the Zanesville Concert Association, this evening was possible for classical music enthusiasts.

Opole, Philharmonic of Poland filled the stage of Secrest Auditorium with ninety members.  All were talented musicians on their first transcontinental tour of the United States.  They arrived in three tour buses with a large semi to carry all their precious instruments.

This group traces their beginnings to 1947, shortly after WWII.  Opole is the permanent home for the Orchestra in Poland in this beautiful Performing Arts Center built in 1952. Opole was originally a Slavic settlement but passed to Poland in 1945.

They performed a Vienna Gala featuring light Viennese classics composed by Johann Strauss, Johann Strauss, Jr., and Fraz Lehar. There was an enjoyable mix of orchestral, vocal, and violin music that included waltzes, arias, and even polkas.  What a fantastic collection of outstanding musicians!

Soprano Izabela Matula is the star soloist and has so many prestigious awards that they would fill pages.  Her most recent first place award was at the International Vocal Competition at the Oper Schloss Laubach.  She was the sole performer chosen to represent Poland in the recent BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

Music Director and Conductor, Boguislaw Dawidow is internationally renowned for his musical knowledge and extraordinary stage presence.  He has conducted leading Orchestras all over the world.  Maestro Dawidow was resident conductor of the Polish Chamber Orchestra as well as Principal COnductor of teh Russian National Acadmic Symphony Orchestra.

In 2002, the American Biographical Institute in New York bestowed Maestro Dawison with the title “Man of the Year,” due to his musical accomplishments on both sides of the Atlantic and well-beyond.  He brought immense enthusiasm to the stage and even brought some laughter from the audience.

This was an enjoyable evening and the concert association should be commended for their excellent selection of music for the community to enjoy.


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