Everyone Is A Protagonist
(…) Górnicka, who has a back- ground as an actress and a musician from Kraków and the Warsaw Frederic Chopin Uni- versity of Music, is satisfied with neither of these arts on its own. She wants a different kind of theatre which on the one hand represents a deep political engagement and on the other hand responds to what she bemoans as a lack of communal spirit, as she explained in her talk after the performance. In “Magnificat”, her second show which opened in 2012 and which won numerous awards, she looks at the Polish soul. “We are such a Catholic country that even most of our atheists are Catholic,” according to one phrase woven by the chorus into its sound collage which transforms text into music and gives sounds a content. “Hail Mary” is spoken on a par with personal details (“I won’t tell you how I make a living.”). Classical texts are mixed with contemporary literary excerpts, parts of cooking recipes are followed like a tasty meal by sounds of smacking lips. The secret of this wonderfully logical performance lies in the fact that the text collage moves masterfully between laughter and consternation and creates a consistent whole of sound and emotion. Paradoxically, it is the diversity that makes the unity even more felt and present. The singers’ ages range from 23 to 75 years, and they are all different, like a group of haphazard passers-by in any pedestrian area. “For me, it is not about the crowd,” said Górnicka. “The protagonist of my performance is made up of many figures.” At the very end, however, the chorus members are arranged according to vocal register and for a single line, “Magnificat anima mea Dominum” (“My soul doth magnify the Lord”), they become an even more powerful musical instrument.