We have observed two problems – growing marginalization of issues concerning the elderly, and increasing fear of old age and passing. The reasons for this include inadequate social and welfare policy. Cultural and economic policy is also inadequate as it increasingly makes strong, healthy, attractive and productive people the focus, while undervaluing older people.
The project aims to create a model for artistic activity to combat exclusion of the elderly from the world of modern art and community life, and to bring about true dialogue between generations.
We will present a cross-generational modern opera composed by Sławomir Wojciechowski based on a Przemysław Klonowski libretto on the subject of passing on and becoming a thing of the past, but also rejection. In the opera, we allude to myths about ancient heroes and what became of them. We draw parallels with the fate of heroes of drama and musical theater who depart from the stage after many years but retain their talent and artistic ability.
The creative process will take place at the Skolimów Polish Stage Actor Retirement Home, the project partner. There will be discussions with artists about their experiences, passion, problems, and views on life as an elderly artist, rehearsals, joint read-throughs, discussions, and the making of film and audio recordings. We will make a documentary on artistic collaboration. Parts of the film recordings will also be used as the video scenery for the opera.
The artistic activities will draw artists’ and the public’s attention to the fact that issues of old age and ageism are not addressed in contemporary art. The premiere of the opera will be seen by approximately 100 people. Due to the special venue – Muzeum Królikarnia, and the envisaged close contact with the performers – who will be close-up observers – we plan to put the opera on again the next day. The film will be available online for free, and will be widely promoted.