Rebel Of The Keys


September 2014

Andre Tchaikowsky Returns To Warsaw

Adrian Erod playing Shylock
Adrian Erod playing Shylock

Last summer (2013), in the stunning setting of The Bregenz Opera festival in Austria, Andre Tchaikowsky became current again. Some thirty years after his death, his opera composition of The Merchant Of Venice was performed for the very first time.

Our documentary team followed David Pountney, Keith Warner, Ashley Martin-Davis and the cast and crew of the opera as they bought Tchaikowsky’s Merchant Of Venice to the stage for the very first time. Taking on an opera that had never been performed before was a brave and challenging experience for all involved, but it was a risk worth taking.  The opera was critically acclaimed, and many of the people we interviewed for our documentary, Rebel of the Keys, were amazed by how accomplished it was given that it was Tchaikowsky’s first opera – it begs the question of what could have been if he had not died so young.

This October The Merchant Of Venice will be staged again, this time at the opera house in Warsaw, in Andre Tchaikowsky’s own country of birth.  If you are able to be in Warsaw around that time, it is something special and something new that is worth experiencing.

The last day of shooting

Shooting of Rebel of the Keys was completed with this final day of pick ups on Sunday.  The shoot took place at the beautiful house of Lady Camilla Panufnik, the very place where Andre Tchaikowsky spent hours talking with his friend Andrzej Panufnik.  Andrew read from Andre’s diaries and Nico de Villiers played Andre’s music on Panufnik’s grand piano.  A truly enchanting day and a fitting place to end the filming of the documentary.

A big thank you to Camilla for letting us film at her home (for the third time!), and to Eve for bringing over Andre’s diaries and sharing them with us.

The Play Through

One of our first days of shooting took place at The Welsh National Opera where we heard a play through of Andre’s opera, The Merchant of Venice, for the very first time.  This was the first indication we had as to what the opera might sound like, and marked for us the beginning of a two year journey in the filming of the documentary.

Meeting Halinka

In the making of this documentary we met some extraordinary and fascinating characters, but one of the most precious moments was when we finally met Halinka Janowska, Andre’s closest friend for many years.  Their relationship was tumultuous at times and much has been captured in their letters to one another.  Sitting in her small flat in Warsaw, hearing her recount her memories of Andre, full of emotion and warmth, was a great privilege.

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