2019 JEVOP Sep 20-22, 2019 Wrocław, Poland
A report by Susan Yarnall-Monks, EVTA President
This was such a special and worthwhile event I felt it important to write a short report for our EVTA members who were unable to be there along with the panel and peer discussions.
We had our Council Meeting on Friday afternoon in the Karol Lipiński Music Academy and then moved over to the beautiful new Concert Venue at the Karol Lipiński Music Academy for the Jewels of Vocal Pedagogy Meeting entitled Professional Challenges of Vocal Pedagogy in the 21st Century. We were given by our Polish hosts a beautiful bag, with a 281 page book, and other gifts inside as a way of celebrating the Polish Association and also the 200th anniversary of Stanisław Moniuszko’s birth. Piotr Łykowski is the current President of PVTA and Monika Kolasa-Hladíková was behind much of the planning and preparation. The book, which is a treasure trove of articles from Mozart to Polish phonetics, also features all the reports from each of our 23 member associations and so illustrates the depth and breadth of EVTA’s work internationally.
The first lecture by Karol Furtak, in excellent English was an exposition of the music of Moniuszko, the creator of the Polish Opera and it provided us with a fascinating look at the political and cultural upheavals experienced by the Polish nation. We then had a wonderful concert of some of Moniuszko’s arias which were romantic and dramatic and so expressive of 19th century musical colours. Our Meet and Greet dinner was held in a traditional Polish Restaurant and it was lovely to share time together, sing Polish songs and feast on beautiful food.
Saturday morning we started with peer discussions using the facilitation techniques that worked so well at the BDG/NATS meeting in Berlin (see separate report). We then had short presentations based on the articles in the book which gave us a fascinating taste of the contents all in excellent English. Our Panel then discussed with Councillors the challenges we face as singing teachers in the current world and that is also in a separate report (PDF, 185 KB).
After lunch hosted by our Polish friends we had a treat of exploring the Polish language, one of the most difficult in Europe and Agata Chodorek managed to do this with much humour and wisdom. This was followed by a lecture by Małgorzata Sułek on the wide diversity of Polish art song and this was also followed by a wonderful concert of beautiful Polish Songs.
Everyone was getting on so well, we all wanted to eat together and amazingly we managed to fill the upper level of a little restaurant and they served 20+ of us with good grace. The next morning some of us were able to take part in a short city tour which left us all wishing we could have stayed longer in such an interesting city. It helped that the sun was shining but we had such a warm welcome form all the Polish singing teachers we met I feel sure we have made some good friends for life!