The Paderewski Polish-Ukrainian Foundation led by Adam Bala and Marianna Humetska brought a chamber version of Paderewski’s opera, Manru, to Chicago’s Cernicus Center on October 6. With musicians and soloists travelling from Poland and Ukraine (together with sets, costumes and props), it was an incredible feat of logistics and an incredibly successful presentation for the enthusiastic Chicago-based Polonia and other opera fans.

In addition to the music, the Paderewski Polish-Ukrainian Foundation also organized a conference on Paderewski and his circle of friends. Held on October 7 at the Polish Museum of America, PMC Director Marek Zebrowski delivered the opening presentation, entitled Paderewski in America. It highlighted Paderewski’s twenty U.S. tours, his connections to Paso Robles where he had extensive wine and almond ranches, the work on bringing the Polonia together during the years of WW I and organizing a volunteer Polish Army to fight with the Allies, and his last trip to America at the beginning of WW II. Other speakers in the conference included Małgorzata Gosiewska (Vice-President of the Polish Seym), Richard Wargo (Artistic Director of the Sembrich Museum in Bolton Landing), Krzysztof Górski (Director of Polish Post Office), and Adam Bala (President of the Paderewski Polish-Ukrainian Foundation).

See photos of the conference here: