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introduction                     personae                     thanks

She was born in Krakow. She graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Krakow University of Technology and Post-diploma School of Speech Therapy at the Pedagogical Academy. She is a winner of numerous poetry competitions in Poland and a receiver of the second prize at the Polish Festival of Singers – Songwriters OPPA in Warsaw.

During the studies she worked for the supplement “Wykusz” of the “Architektura” magazine. She also appeared in the students’ cabaret “Komedon” and in Krakow’s Piwnica pod Baranami. In 1996 she had her own programme on Radio Wanda, Chichot Wandzi / Wanda’s Giggle. She has participated in theatre and song workshops (ran by Teatr 38 and KTO).

She is the author of three musicals: Kot, pies i jazz / A Cat, a Dog and Jazz (staged at the Teatr Lalek in Wrocław in 1988 and translated into German), Ucieczka z Posejdonii / The Escape from Posejdonia and Sześć Blondynek i Zakonnica / Six Blondes and a Nun. Barbara Szczepańska has also written radio dramas and plays.

She has published four volumes of poetry: Salon gier miłosnych (KKAL, Kraków 1995), Kochankowie wiedżmy (Baran i Suszczyński, Kraków 1996), Miasta Pożądań (Nowy Świat, Warszawa 2006). In 2007 she published a collection of short stories Świat pełen mężczyzn (Nowy Świat, Warszawa 2007).

Barbara Szczepańska has released three records with her own songs; Czas dobrych słów Christmas Songs (EKOLANG, Kraków 1991, Namiętność (STEBO, Kraków 1997, Zauroczenia (OKO-ART, Kraków 2009).

The music for her songs was composed by Ewa Kornecka, Leszek Długosz, Henryk Mosna, Robert Obcowski, Krzysztof Szwajgier, Tadeusz Rachoń, Andrzej Zarycki, Andrzej Zieliński, a composer from Vienna Nina Chudak-Marenda, a Chinese pianist Kraystyna Man Li and many others. Her songs were performed by Jacek Zieliński (Skaldowie band), Tadeusz Woźniak (a singer and composer), Alina Orlicka (an actress), Antonina Choroszy (an actress), Wojciech Popkiewicz (a singer and director), Wojciech Koscielniak (actor and director), Ewa Wnuk (performer of the Piwnica pod Baranami) and the actors of the Teatr Muzyki i Tańca directed by Elżbieta Armatys The artist made video clips with her songs. She also had concert tours in Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. She has been working for the radio and TV. In 2009 Barbara Szczepańska wrote a series of musical fairy tales for children for the firm Fonograf MTJ in Warsaw.

Barbara Szczepańska often performs songs from well – known musicals and films such as The Fiddler on the Roof, Cats, Notre Dame de Paris and she writes her own lyrics to world hits. She also gives recitals of French, Jewish and Christmas songs. She is accompanied by an ensemble “Belle Epoque” consisting of: Monika Bylica (piano), Mirosław Gawlik (accordion), Ignacy Słojek (saxophone, clarinet), Lesław Wydrzyński (contrabass), Grzegorz Fieber (drums). Back up singers are: Monika Banduła, Karolina Herman, Agnieszka Zima. Barbara Szczepńska is a member of the Artistic and Literary Association STAL, the Polish Writers Association, the Association of Polish Authors and Stage Composers ZaiKS and the Association of Polish Authors and Composers ZAKR.

Obviously, I have been an architect all my life but at one time I decided to leave the drawing board and put myself on stage.... For some time I tried to engage in the parallel areas (cabaret of the Polytechnic students ”Komedon”, editor of the student column “Wykusz” of the monthly magazine “Architecture”, the Piwnica pod Baranami cabaret stage) but later decided that literature and music were more after my heart. I am also a speech therapist and voice production teacher.

Architecture has influenced my poetic, prose and drama works. It has trained me in spatial discipline, mastering the excess of emotions and making them visible in a particular area of experience. After all it’ s all question of imagination...

Summing up, the crowning of my dreams would be to design a musical theatre building where I could rise to fame as an author of a musical and perhaps as an performer as well...

Barbara Szczepańska “Judyta”
Kraków, May 2010

More at www.barbaraszczepanska.art.pl

photo by Janusz Bilczyń́ski

Copyright by Konrad Glos, Rafal Zub 2010