La Folle Journée (i.e. The Mad Day) is the subtitle of Beaumarchais’s The Marriage of Figaro, the audacious theatre play and undisputed masterpiece of French and international literature that denounces the archaic privileges of French nobility. It is also the very same theatre play that inspired both Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and René Martin, who has organized numerous concerts of classical music and created a festival that turned the world of classical music upside down, making it accessible to vast audiences.
La Folle Journée was created in France in 1995, and since its beginning has been a true revolution in the world of classical music. At the moment, besides the French and Polish editions, the festival takes place in Japan and Russia. The revolutionary concept of La Folle Journée consists in a dizzying number of short concerts in the span of a few days with an appealing repertoire and affordable ticket prices. All of that attracts large crowds of new listeners to the concert halls in a spectacular fashion.
The biggest celebration of classical music in Poland
The Polish edition of the festival was initiated by Sinfonia Varsovia, which has taken part in La Folle Journée in France since its beginnings and participated in its numerous Japanese, Russian, and Spanish renditions. Every year, thousands of people gather in Teatr Wielki – The Polish Opera on the last weekend of September to listen to concerts of their choice from dozens of available events.
The festival has gained the reputation of the biggest classical music feast in Poland. Many regular and occasional concertgoers spend the whole year waiting for it. It is the only festival in the country that combines symphonic and chamber concerts performed by the brightest stars of classical music with a broad educational repertoire that gathers together the most gifted young musicians from across Poland. Every year, around 1000 artists perform during the festival and are listened to by nearly 40 000 audience members.