Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

“The Lion King” with live music. A unique event in Krakow

Original version “The Lion King” from 1994 features unforgettable music composed by the award-winning band. The songwriters are Elton John and Tim Rice – both Oscar and Grammy winners. The score was created by the Oscar and Grammy winner Hans Zimmerand the arrangements of African vocal parts are the work of Grammy-winning South African producer and composer Lebo M.

The plot of “The Lion King” takes us to the African savannah, where the future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, Mufasa, and takes his destiny to heart. However, not everyone accepts the new heir to the throne. Scar, Mufasa’s brother, resorts to betrayal to have Simba exiled. With the help of his new friends, he will have to grow up and regain what belongs to him.

Even though thirty years have passed since its premiere, the original version of “The Lion King” remains among the most profitable animated films. The power of this story can be demonstrated by cultural works inspired by it, such as video games, Beyoncé’s Grammy-nominated album, or a musical that has been performed thousands of times – including on stages in New York, Los Angeles and London. Thanks to this, the story set in East Africa reached a wide audience, making people aware of the beauty of the natural landscape and the value of friendship.

“We have been toying with the idea for a long time to return to the classic version of ‘The Lion King’ and give it a spectacular setting,” says Robert Piaskowski, artistic director of the Film Music Festival. “For those born in the 1980s and 1990s, the Disney production is a childhood film that still evokes strong emotions. Many people saw it in cinemas, but long after its premiere, the animation was a hit among us thanks to VHS tapes lent by friends. The film it connected generations, because parents and grandparents also watched it together with children. Now we want to remind adults of this moving story, and show its classic version to the youngest. It will be a unique experience, because for the first time in Europe we will hear the entire soundtrack live,” adds Piaskowski .

“The Lion King” received two musical Oscars – for original soundtrack and best film song. The film was honored with the Golden Globes in the same categories.

“It’s hard to disagree with the jurors of Hollywood awards, since the songs of Hans Zimmer and Elton John still delight listeners after thirty years,” says Magdalena Wojewoda-Mleczko, music director of RMF Classic. “When composing the soundtrack, Zimmer followed the best musical traditions – following Simba’s story, he created a multicolored narrative. He drew on the culture of East Africa, which can be heard especially in the rich rhythmic layer. And Elton John’s songs? They are among the artist’s best , and as we age, we discover new meanings in words,” argues Wojewoda-Mleczko.

The lyrics were written by Tim Rice, who had previously gained recognition by collaborating with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber on the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. However, the most popular work of the English poet remains the Oscar-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, which has been performed in several dozen language versions (in Polish under the title “Love grows around us”). The soundtrack of “The Lion King” also includes songs such as “The Circle of Life” and, of course, “Hakuna Matata”. Thanks to the Disney production, the whole world learned that this phrase in Swahili, used in Central and Eastern Africa, simply means: don’t worry.

After a break of several years, the Film Music Festival will once again invite the audience to the largest entertainment and sports hall in Poland. TAURON Arena Kraków is a modern space that allows the organizers to have full scope. The concert can be attended by over eleven thousand listeners. Thanks to audio description, the film will also be available to blind and visually impaired people.

The highest musical level will be provided by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and the combined choirs of the Krakow Philharmonic and Pro Musica Mundi. One hundred and fifty experienced performers will perform on stage under the baton of Erik Ochsner. The American of Finnish origin is recognized as one of the leading conductors of film music. Critics and the audience appreciate him for his energy and the utmost attention to synchronizing the music with the image. He proved his class by giving concerts all over the world, from Los Angeles to Sydney. Disney. The Lion King – a film with live music will be his fourth appearance at FMF.

“Disney. The Lion King – a film with live music” will be the finale of the 17th edition of the Film Music Festival. During other events, we will hear, among others, a selection of new soundtracks by Polish, British and American composers. There will also be an FMF Audiovisual Forum – a series of meetings with experts from the music and film industries. Moreover, in cooperation with Galeria Kazimierz, FMF’s Strategic Partner, a Festival Town will be organized with an offer of activities for the whole family. The full program will be announced soon.

More information on the FMF website and RMF Classic. Tickets for the “Disney. The Lion King – film with live music” event are now available in the KBF: PLUS application. From March 14, tickets are also available on the Eventim and KBF websites: TICKETS.