Typically, we read a story in many ways. Context, facts and their analysis are burdened with subjective baggage of experiences, beliefs, sympathy and antipathy. When stereotypes come to the fore and xenophobic blindness prevails over truth, there is no consensus. But when dialogue wins, truth wins.
The "Letter from Warsaw", a musical by outstanding trumpeter, jazzman and composer - Gary Guthman and playwright Doman Nowakowski, move through the sum total of what is common and different for Poles and Jews. As the creators say - "in every quarrel, in every dispute, there are at least two opposing points of view, and the truth often lies more or less “midpoint” between them." There are, therefore, situations in which all arguments are subjective as fundamentally they can be correct and incorrect and at the same time. How does one choose which ‘right’ in such a situation? Which truth is closer to an objective truth? And does such a singular truth even exist? “
The musical "Letter from Warsaw" is the result of nearly two years' work of an American Jew and a Polish Catholic. Through words and music, they discover forgotten truths and break down stereotypes that have been nurtured over the years. The authors present a common ground, a crossing of barriers, and the surprising development of actions making the viewer never quite sure of what will happen in the next moment
In the Musical, the creators as well recall centuries-old history of Poland, especially the period called Paradiso Judeorum - the Jewish Paradise in which Jews felt at ease, enjoying independence and creating their own unique culture. Separate, yet interwoven worlds, drawing from what is common from the teachings of the Old Testament.
It is no wonder that this Musical, whose premiere took place on November 24, 2019 at the New Stage of the Warsaw Chamber Opera - is already arousing emotions and raises great hopes for its grand opening. Why? Because there is a place in it for everything that concerns Polish-Jewish relations now at the end of the second decade of the 21st century, as well as what happened in the tragic 20th century. The spirit of remembering and reconciliation is watching over this production. Or perhaps forgiveness and understanding? The message of "Letter from Warsaw"is in a way an attempt to look for what is common and what connects us. We know all too well what divides us ...
"Letter from Warsaw" is an outstanding work, provoking not only thinking but also mutual understanding. The subject of this musical, taken up by its creators, made a great impression on me - writes the Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich. In a similar tone, he is accompanied by Professor Szewach Weiss, a great friend of Poles, who has been proclaiming the truth about the contribution of our compatriots to save Jews during World War II: mutual agreement between Poland and the Jewish community around the world.
The ability to discuss wisely and debate can be as difficult as it is beautiful. The discussion about what unites us is a discussion of hope. "Letter from Warsaw”- The Musical will not leave anyone indifferent. It will stimulate the most sensitive strings of each of the viewers, forcing them to deep reflection. After all, that's the role of art.
"Letter from Warsaw" the musical is financed by the Ministry of Culture under the auspices of the Institute of Music and Dance.
The U.S. Department of State is a proud sponsor of the "Letter from Warsaw" musical. The authors of this production are solely responsible for its content.