Thursday, October 18, 2007

An Elf's Adventure in Poland

Hello Everyone,

Finally I am getting around to posting our exploits in Poland this past July at the Tolk Folk Festival in Bielawa, Poland. Adam and I were the guests of honor there at this week long festival which included, Hobbit Races, performances of Tolkien based music and a massive re-enactment of The Fall of Gondolin complete with Balrogs on stilts a fire breathing dragon and original music underscoring narration by the organizer of the festival.

For those of you who didn't know, part 1 of Adam's opera Leithian, based on the short story of Beren and Luthien from Tolkien's Silmarillion was premiered at the Liederkranz Foundation NY, NY in July of 2006. It's fame took off in the Tolkien fan circles via their websites. Part 2 was premiered in NY this past April and now Adam is waiting in limbo to see if Tolkien's publisher will extend the agreement so we can take the next steps to promote his opera. Adam was Beren, I was Luthien and we had a host of great artists working with us. More information on the opera can be found at Adam's website:

Poland has an amazing group of serious fans, a kin to those represented at Sci-Fi conventions that I have attended in the distant and recent past. In brief I can summarize my festival experience as part Pennsic, part Star Trek Convention and part pastoral-vacation-in-the-Polish-countryside. Wow! The Tolkfolk Festival site can be found here. It's all in Polish, but I think Google would be happy to translate the page for you. We were treated like stars and interviewed by the media for the event. A TV interview can be found here.

Adam has written an amazing blog pretty much summarizing our thoughts on this adventure. You can find his blog here.

In addition to Adam's blog the only other comment I would like to make is about what I observed with the people of Poland and their culture. Without Lek Walesa's efforts there very well may never have been a Tolk Folk Festival or even J.R.R. Tolkien literature in Poland. Mr. Walesa was instrumental in banishing the Soviet backed communist government and through his efforts the people of Poland were allowed the freedoms of expression that come along with being a democracy. The age group that attended this festval was mostly in their 20's with a few 30's-60's smattered amongst them. They were intelligent, worldly, non-prejudiced and forward thinking. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and have made friends with a few of them. There is a bright future for this country. I can't wait until I go back next year! (I am readying my Elf wardrobe as I write this...)