When most 19-year-olds were grinding through midterms, Markèta Irglová was accepting an Oscar for her music in the film Once. Five years later, her passion project is coming to Broadway.
The first time she saw rehearsals for the stage adaptation of Once, Markèta Irglová knew it would be a success. "I simply couldn’t find any faults with it," says the 23-year-old Czech-born singer and songwriter. The musical, which had barely begun its off-Broadway run when it announced its move to Broadway, is the latest iteration of the hit 2006 movie of the same name, a story of unattainable love between two musicians which co-starred Irglová and fellow singer/songwriter Glen Hansard. The stage adaptation of Once is performed by a whole new cast of actors, and the stage itself transformed into a jovial Irish pub. But the music – co-written by Irglová and Hansard and fashioned with heart and soaring melodies – remains the same.
"I was always award that that what you do affects those around you, but I was honored to see it affecting other people who worked with it and molded it into their own thing," she says.
Though being a part of the audience is a new experience for Irglová, she welcomes the change. Since being discovered by Hansard at the age of 13, she’s won the Oscar for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly," toured the world with Hansard under the moniker The Swell Season and, after they ended their two-year relationship, released her solo record, Anar, which she’s currently touring in support of.
"What’s different is I’m now in a position of leadership," Irglová says. "I have to dream everything up and manifest it and put a lot of thought and energy into it, but the rewards are bigger.