Next project – comic book on singing!

The power of image! My next book will be a comic on my singing journey with best tips from my teachers plus my own best practices. Sample: pages 1, 2 and 9.

Made with Storyboard That

Made with Storyboard That


Singing on Sunday with the Great Orchestra!

Here we go again – this Sunday is the 2nd official Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in San Francisco! My set is at the beginning of the event, at 12.10PM.

I will be doing “Wolven Storm” – a song from computer game “The Witcher”, “Memory” from “Cats” and Cinderella’s final aria from Rossini’s “La Cenerentola”.

The concert is free and benefits children hospitals in Poland. Last year the fundraiser collected 40 million dollars worldwide! Buy great Polish food and drink and you will be saving children’s lives!

You can also bid at the auction – this year I am donating a copy of my novel “Hela” (Polish version).

Check out the performers and more info here.

Where: Polish Club of San Francisco, 3040 22nd and Shotwell St.

When: Sun. Jan 13th 11 AM-8 PM


Struggle – The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski

This documentary of truly operatic proportions premiered yesterday in Los Angeles, at the County museum of Art and will air on Netflix on December 21. Szukalski’s art was monumental, symbolic and of extraordinary technical skill; it was a special treat to watch it on a big screen. The movie takes us literally inside his surviving sculptures and the creator’s psyche. Once renowned on both sides of the Atlantic, then almost completely forgotten, Stanislaw Szukalski is getting rediscovered thanks to his relationship with DiCaprio family and a group of LA artists who preserved his archive and recorded video footage of him in the last years of his life. The movie takes as through over eight decades of his life, following the course of 20th century, with its ideological madness and destructive forces of war.

I don’t want to give any spoilers or even post a trailer – enough to say I watched the live audience laugh, gasp and get moved as the story unfolds, as the striking images emerge from the darkness and invade our senses with their expressive power and as we discover the not always pretty aspects of the working of a great creative mind. How is it possible that a genius in one sphere can be totally deluded in another? By filtering off all the “dos” and “don’ts” of the society Szukalski manages to keep his art totally original but the same principle leads to his isolation and to ideas that he later abandoned. It is a credit to the producers that after finding out saddening facts about their old friend’s past they decided to present his story anyway. In the days where lessons from World War II seem to fade away and extreme nationalism is again on the rise Szukalski’s story can be seen as a reminder and a warning.

Beautifully shot and narrated, great music. Must see!

Online gallery of artwork:

With director Irek Dobrowolski

“Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski.” Director: Irek Dobrowolski. Producers: Leonardo DiCaprio, George DiCaprio, Anna Dobrowolska. Netflix original, release December 21st 2018

Phantom of the Opera – dream come true!

In 1993 my British aunt took me to see this show in London. I was instantly hooked – on the music, the production, the story. The high note in the Phantom/Christine duet seemed out of this world! I did not even dream that one day I’d be able to pull it off. This performance at the Carnival Concert in Warsaw in February was a dream come true.

I am promised a front view recording where you can see my partner, Maciej Buczyński. For now, this.

Free Concert on Sunday for a Good Cause!

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Last year I hosted the first SF house party for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity which over the years raised millions for children’s health care and has introduced Polish people to charitable giving.
This year the Polish Club of San Francisco opened its doors to the event and we invite all those who are in the are to come, enjoy the free concert, the food and drink, meet lots of cool people and bid on attractive auction items!

Admission is free, you donate by buying food, bidding on auction items and throwing cash into the boxes. No checks this year, but credit cards are welcome.

Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity

Here’s an English language Facebook video describing the history of the Orchestra. It’s been playing for 26 years now and this year it got nominated to Nobel Peace Prize.

If you cannot make it consider donating online using the link on the SF Committee website. 

We enjoy the support of many local businesses – donation boxes can be found all over Bay Area including Seakor Polish Deli, Polam Federal Credit Union, Union Square Salon

Bernal Opera will be there at 6.40 PM with a mix of musical theatre and opera favorites.

Where: Polish Club of San Francisco, 3040 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110

When: Sunday January 14th 4-9 PM

Performers include:

David Dobrzynski, 13-year old rock guitarist – a prodigy1

Voice of Poland star Magdalena Bałdych!

Street folk band Kuzyni

The Slavic Strutter Duo – Dance

Kids folk ensembles Orliki and Sokoly:

See you there!

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Who’s Afraid of the Exterminating Angel?

My husband is. “Contemporary opera? Thanks but no thanks. Hours of nothing but recitatives.” And declined to join me at the movie theatre.

He was probably right not to go. His interest in classical music is to experience something, well, classical, meaning “timeless” – something that endures, can be revisited and enjoyed musically. 20th century’s music followed another path. The purpose of art was redefined as something evoking a strong response, but not necessarily a pleasant one.

If you accept this notion you can appreciate pieces like “The Exterminating Angel” for what they are. It is great theatre – strong characters, great visuals, powerful sounds. The score is peppered with super high pitched notes and requires a countertenor, a boy soprano and a super high coloratura soprano. All in all this is something unique, that you are not going to find anywhere else.

If it were only that you would leave impressed but cold. What makes this show work is the story. I am glad I had not seen the original Buñuel movie, as it was all new, fresh; I did not know what was coming. The situation is absurd, surreal and scary and cannot be easily tied to current events but can be tied to everyone’s life experience. We live in the illusion of freedom, but in fact we are locked in our destiny, our historical moment, our social environment. We can feel rich and powerful one moment but it takes a political event, you of all of it in one day. That happened in Bolshevik revolution, Nazi’s Germany, in Rwanda, it is happening in Myanmar. Why do human-made horrors happen? It should be simple to just leave the party. Refuse to participate in evil madness – all it takes is to toss your gun. Not to persecute people. Not to blow yourself up in a crowded street or place of worship. Why are we humans not capable of “rebooting” in such instances and choosing another path? This is a very sad reality of our world and our existence.

“I am happy to die as I will not see the extermination.” says one of the opera characters. Extermination is not just death. Extermination is death at the hands of other humans that treat you like non-humans. The “reboot” of WW2 where dehumanizing ideology was defeated wears thin. New generations don’t realize the horror of it. We should be aware and concerned. And do something about it while we still can.

Metropolitan Opera audience

“The Exterminating Angel” Thomas Adès, Metropolitan Opera  Oct. 26 Nov. 21 2017.

The Exterminating Angel #metopera encore today! Will I match this high note?

Since the video of Audrey Luna became viral with the Note So High It’s Never Been Sung Before article I could not wait to see the show! Thanks to the wonderful Met broadcast to cinemas I am going to see it today. High expectations! High notes being one of my favorite sports and the copycat that I am, I had to try the to match the Met diva in my underground Bernal Opera venue. Result?

That took some trying and interestingly, it is the low part, or tying the low part to high one is the most challenging in this “exercise”.

I will look closely how Ms Luna does it live on stage, it’s always most educational!

More after the show…