Concert in tribute to John Paul II


Concert in tribute to John Paul II

On 18 May 2020, the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Paul II, join us for a concert on

Your portrait in our homes every day remind us
How much one man can accomplish and how sainthood works.

Czesław Miłosz

On 18 May 2020, the 100th anniversary of the birth of The Holy Father John Paul II, the Polish National Opera will hold an evening of poetry by Cyprian Kamil Norwid, His Holiness' beloved bard, and music of Fryderyk Chopin.

Szymon Nehring (fortepiano) will perform Chopin's 3 Nocturnes, Etude, and Sonata in B minor, while Jan Englert will interpret Norwid's poems. To complete the evening, you will hear Czesław Miłosz's poem written 20 years ago to mark the Pope's 80th birthday.

The Holy Father often stressed that the social aspect of his pontificate was based on Norwid's principle of taking joy from work, which is in its essence one of the ways to achieve human dignity. Today, we evoke the bard's words and the music that in all probability is the most perfect vehicle for the Polish idiom, inviting you to join us in reflection and celebration of this special day, which during this difficult time may be a source of artistic joy and internal strength that we all need so much right now.

The artists will perform to an empty auditorium at the Polish National Opera. The live stream begins at 7:30 p.m. CET on

Waldemar Dąbrowski

Stanisław Leszczyński

Pictured: Waldemar Dąbrowski, then the Polish minister of culture, hands a tome of Norwid poetry to John Paul II during an audience in the Vatican in 2004. Photo: Servizio Fotografico de "L'O.R."


Norwid Moja ojczyzna [My Homeland]
Etude in C-sharp minor Op. 25 No. 7 (Lento)
Norwid Moja piosnka II [My Song II]
Nocturne in F-sharp minor Op. 48 No. 2
Norwid Coś ty Atenom zrobił Sokratesie [What Did You Do to Athens, Socrates?]
Sonata 3 Op. 58 in B minor (1844) 1. Allegro maestoso
Norwid Pióro [Quill]
Sonata 3 Op. 58 in B minor (1844) 2. Scherzo. Molto vivace
Norwid Fortepian Szopena [Chopin's Piano]
Sonata 3 Op. 58 in B minor (1844) 3. Largo
Norwid Pielgrzym [A Pilgrim]
Sonata 3 Op. 58 in B minor (1844) 4. Finale. Presto ma non tanto
Miłosz Oda na 80 urodziny Jana Pawła II [Ode for the Eightieth Birthday of Pope John Paul II]
Nocturne E major Op. 62 No. 2

Szymon Nehring – fortepiano
Jan Englert – recitation

Conception: Waldemar Dąbrowski
Script: Stanisław Leszczyński
Consultant: Agnieszka Kłopocka
Set Designer: Izabela Chełkowska


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