Start arrow Introduction

this year will take place from the 19th till 27th of November.
Grand Final - 20th of November.
Deadline for the applications is the 15th of October.
OPPA - International Bard Festival

is a several days-long feast of pure songwriters and their songs, the principal value of which is the artist’s personal, genuine and self-conscious message, expressed by his or her own words and own music. OPPA is a non-commercial festival, a sort of response of the milieu of true bards to a cheap gloss of a mass-audience show business. Since its conception back in 1978 OPPA has become one of pivotal singing events in Poland.

OPPA - International Bard Festival – (until 2005 known as National Review of Authors’ Songs) has been held by a milieu of artists and performers associated in “Ballada” Literary and Musical Society. It has been the only festival of this type and level in Poland, presenting the creative output of bards, understood as singers who are also composers and authors of lyrics of what they sing. According to the organisers, it is in that very type of song that an artist’s personality, views, life philosophy, inner life and wealth of experience is revealed more completely and genuinely than in any other style. Author’s song is – or at least should be – the most personal expression of an artist, his way of communicating with the world through the meduim of a lyrical and musical form. It is the Author himself who adapts the most suitable artistic form to what he wants to express, taking all the responsibility upon himself, as well.

Some of Poland’s famous contemporary poets/singers carved their artistic careers during subsequent OPPA festivals, while the festival’s Jury was attended by renowned authors and composers. OPPA’s accompanying concerts saw such names as Paolo Conte, Georges Moustaki, Lluis Llach, Jaromir Nohavica, Jurij Kukin and many, many more.

Considering an increasing participation of foreign artists in the event, in 2006 its official name was changed to: “OPPA – International Bards’ Festival”.

OPPA consists of the competition, non-competition concerts, stars’ recitals and accompanying events. The competition is intended as a jumpboard for young artists. OPPA’s top prize is Jonasz Kofta Award which opens doors for winners to recording sessions, record release and promotion. Other OPPA top contenders are awarded precious gifts as prizes, closely related to their artistic craft (musical instruments, electronic gear).

Beside the competition, the first-night performance concert makes an important part of OPPA, graced by stars of author’s song who sing their newest song, purpose-written for that occasion. This concert is only judged by the audience which votes for the best new song in a poll.


The OPPA audience is knowledgeable and demanding, composed of connoiseurs who are really interested in good songs and lyrics that have true literary value and communicates ponderable messages. OPPA concerts attract all generations of lovers of good songs.


Since 1997 OPPA has been organised by the „Ballada” Literary and Musical Society, with its President Piotr Bakal being the Festival Director. As a student, back in 1978, Bakal came up with the idea to organise OPPA and then he headed the festival through its first couple of years, when it took place in the “Hybrydy” student club. SLM "Ballada" holds a broad range of concerts, meetings with authors, competitions, workshops, reviews and festivals to promote broadly understood lyrical song. It co-operates, on the one hand, with a number of artists representing this domain and, on the other hand, with clubs, promoters of events, media as well as national and local-level institutions. Across the years of its activities the Society has gained faithful backing from the audience and much respect in Poland’s cultural environment.