Festival of Light already opened – The Chinese Garden illuminated with colourful lanterns

The Festival of Light in the Royal Łazienki already opened! Visitors are invited to Oriental Concerts, the performance of the Beijing Opera, the shows of the Chinese calligraphy and tea making ceremony and also romantic strolls among colourful lanterns in the Chinese Garden. The Festival will last until 30 August when the Stage on Water will host the “Out of The Darkness” shows produced by Leszek Mądzik.

The Festival of Light, during which on Sunday 16 and 23 August visitors can listen to other oriental concerts as well as watch the performance of the Beijing Opera, shows of Chinese calligraphy or tea making art, will end on 29 and 30 with a jubilee spectacle of Leszek Mądzik entitled “Out of the Darkness”.

Relations between Poles and Chinese have been marked by friendship and mutual interest since the 18th century, when king Stanisław August marked out the route to Wilanów, that is the Chinese Alley – as Xu Jian, ambassador of China, reminded at the opening of the Festival in the Chinese Garden. A solemn lighting of the lanterns added splendour to the inauguration and was rewarded with applause. Visitors can admire the romantic and atmospheric lighting every evening until the end of August.

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China together with “Sinopol” – the Sino-Polish Foundation for Economic and Cultural Exchange – are partners in the organization of the Festival of Light.

The occasional speeches, in which attention was drawn to the centuries-old tradition of the Far East culture, were followed by the mood “guzheng” zither concerto performed by Anna Krysztofiak. The artist has designed a programme of Oriental Concerts; she is one of the few performers in Europe playing the traditional “nanguan” Chinese music. In China, “nanguan” is a very old music style. This is extremely refined, melismatic, that is decorative music while artists performing it may even fall into a trance. I hope that thanks to the Oriental Concerts here in the Royal Łazienki everyone will be able to discover China in themselves – Anna Krysztofiak said.

The ceremony in the Chinese Garden was preceded by the “Tours of the Baroque: to China through the Continents” concert. The audience in the Amphitheatre listened to music originating not only from China, but also from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, England, Poland and Italy. The composers, whose works were played among other things on viola di gamba or organ included Manuel de Sumaya, Domenico Zipoli and Giovanni Battista Luparini.

The concert was performed by: Anna Krysztofiak (vocal, percussion instruments),  Anna Śliwa (Baroque violin), Agnieszka Świątkowska (Baroque violin), Julia Karpeta (viola da gamba), Aleksandra Rupocińska (virginal, organ).

The inauguration of the Festival of Light is also an attraction for the children. On the stage near the Officer Cadet School and Old Guardhouse the “Pod żaglami muzycznej dżonki” (Sailing on musical junk ship) concert took place as part of the “Melomaluszki” (Melokids) series that is very well known to the visitors of the Royal Łazienki. Children discovered the world of historical and oriental musical instruments, and learned old dances by playing.

The Royal Łazienki Museum has organised the Festival of Light (previously the Lanterns Festival) since 2012. This is a part of the “Garden of Lights” international project designed to promote exceptional historic gardens and museums from across the world. Five residences cooperate within the project – apart from the Royal Łazienki Museum these are the Prince Pückler Park in Bad Muskau (Germany), Château de Lunéville (France), Tsarskoye Selo in Sankt Petersburg (Russia) and Prince Kung’s Mansion in Beijing (China).