Milcząca rybka / Silent Fish

opens with an attempt at a family trip to the opera; an important trip that is supposed to involve the family’s child. Each parent can already guess where the conflict immanent to any plot is going to emerge here; each knows all too well those uncomfortable situations when the necessity of immediately leaving the house is annulled by the treacherous mutiny of one’s child.

That real-life situation chosen as the starting point of the plot does not mean, however, that we are verismo opera fanatics. We are not. The thing you are going to hear can best be defined as a dynamic–comic–microopera–with–numerous–examples–of– behaviour–and–not–quite–true–characters. This genre, defined after long negotiations, opens many opportunities for creative action, emotion and imagination, in which the element of child personality plays an important role.

An important but not exclusive role. Our microopera is dedicated to children but also adults who will accompany the children. The horrible title and the eloquent silence of the fish are only instruments. Through them, we can say what nurtures us—also as parents. We wrote the libretto around the theme of the everyday race against time, making many really important issues disappear from our perspective, pushed back as they are by the overload of things to do. All that in order to remind ourselves of things more important than professional ambitions that we could unknowingly imprint on our children: it is worth stopping for a few moments to spend them with those most important to us... well as with the Talking Cat. At the time of writing this introduction, we already know the libretto but we don’t know how the music composed to it will sound. Even the composer himself does not know it, but remembering his earlier works for children (there are over twenty of them), we should expect risky situations and immature behaviour.

Małgorzata Kołcz and Jarosław Siwiński



Negotiations are under way next to the bathroom door. Mum and Dad are trying to persuade their son Stefek, locked in the bathroom, to open the door. They have a very important visit to the opera tonight, where they work, but Stefek and the Talking Cat have no intention of going. They go to the opera nearly every day, because their parents take them there whenever possible, often forgetting about normal ways of spending free time, such as staying at home.

The situation is made worse when the “horrible” title of the play is mentioned; Stefek locks himself in the bathroom and the Cat hides in the room. Unfortunately, the parents’ persuasion isn’t helping.

Suddenly the light goes off. In these circumstances, there’s no way the family can leave... It’s yet another obstacle tonight, but it also induces reflection: perhaps we do indeed overburden our children? Does our work and hobby excessively influence family life? Perhaps we should all remind ourselves that we need a few moments of normal time together? Drop from the rat race, abandon words such “I must”...?

The Silent Fish comments on the protagonists’ struggle with the race against time, their reflections and discussions.