KF Online Programs


Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 1:00pm


Film director Radka Franczak speaks about making her new documentary film about her great-great-aunt Marcella Sembrich. Marcella Sembrich was born as a poor girl in times when Poland did not exist on the political map of Europe and died in NYC as a star, a millionaire, and a great philanthropist. She was a good friend of Caruso, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Schubert, Bismarck, Twain, Modrzejewska, Paderewski, and Sienkiewicz. Her talent was discovered by Franz Liszt who told her: "sing, sing for the world 'cause you have a voice of an angel." Over the course of her life, Sembrich conquered the world's biggest stages and crowned heads of Russia, Saxony, Prussia, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Romania admired her voice. She sang in the first season of the newly founded Metropolitan Opera and remained its star for 25 years.



Radka Franczak - director, scriptwriter, film editor, and photographer; a graduate from Film Editing and New Media Department at Polish National Film School in Łódź and DOK PRO Documentary Programme at Wajda School in Warsaw. She has directed a short documentary (10min) "Stiepan" and a mid-length documentary (50min) "Losing Sonia" both produced by Andrzej Wajda Studio. Currently, she is working on a documentary feature film about Marcella Sembrich, her ancestor, and a great opera diva of the turn of the 20th century. In 2016, Radka's first novel „Serce" [The Heart] was published, and the novel was shortlisted to the most important Polish literary prize Nike 2017 and for the Polish Prize of Women Writers Gryfia 2017.

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