|Residence of the Ambassador,
Warsaw, 6 April 2004
The host, H.E. Mr Mats Staffansson, Ambassador of Sweden to Poland, introduced the musical
drama by the statement below (an excerpt).
specially invited audience included the Ambassadors of Austria, Belgium, France, Italy,
the United Kingdom and the United States; representatives of the Ministry of Culture
of Poland and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute; and industry VIPs. A comité of
six ambassadors honoured the Brussels premiere
in October 2003.
EXCELLENCIES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
"... Jenny Lind, the Swedish soprano, is not yet very well known in
Poland. However, she was what you would call a mega star of her time and also a
wealthy and generous philanthropist. She was born in Stockholm in 1820 and was ten
years younger than Chopin. Jenny Lind made a fantastic career, first in Europe and then in America. She was
often referred to as "The Swedish Nightingale", and her memorial at Westminster
Abbey in London is placed next to those for Händel and Shakespeare.
A few years ago, after a long and successful international business
carrier, the Swedish-Danish couple Cecilia and Jens Jorgensen, who are with us this
evening, founded the non-profit organization called "Icons of Europe".
Based in Brussels, their activities focus on historical research and classical music
events related to Icons of art, music, literature and science. Mr and Mrs Jorgensen
have given high priority to Icons of the new members of the EU and their relationship with
Icons of other countries.
The research they conducted last
year on the life of Chopin led to some completely new and until now unknown facts and
conclusions concerning the relationship between Chopin and Jenny Lind to whom Chopin
referred in many of his letters in 1848-1849. They discovered that Jenny
Lind with a high degree of probability was the anonymous donor of the 25,000 francs Chopin
received in July 1849 - a very large sum of money at that time. Bellini's
opera "La Sonnambula" was the key to that discovery.
But more than that, Cecilia and Jens found strong evidence that Jenny
Lind, with the knowledge of Queen Victoria, came to Paris in May 1849 with the objective
of marrying Chopin - and that she never came over her loss of Chopin.
However, Chopin's own letters do not reveal his thoughts on the marriage plans.
These findings are documented in this biography - "CHOPIN
and The Swedish Nightingale" and in a subsequent research
paper, which was the subject of a roundtable discussion hosted by the Fryderyk Chopin
Institute a month ago at Warsaw Philharmonic.
On the basis of their book, Cecilia and Jens wrote the musical
drama "Chopin and The Nightingale", which will have its world premiere here in Poland
in a few minutes. This drama is based on researched historical facts. You will
hear music by Chopin and Bellini and you will hear the songs that Jenny Lind used to sing
for Chopin during their encounters in 1848-1849 and later.
Please note also the parallels between this
real-life drama and Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, "The
Nightingale" / Slowik. Andersen was in love with Jenny Lind but could never get
her attention, and he wrote this story as early as 1843 as a tribute to her. The
parallels are also illustrated by the authentic quotes you will find in the handout - in