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MONIUSZKO’S MASTERPIECES AT WAWEL (AFTER THE “WORLD OPERA ARIAS” CONCERT)

24 June 2019

It is difficult to imagine the Krakow Opera Summer Festival without the “World Opera Arias” concert, the tenth edition of which took place this year. On 23 June, our theatre soloists, choir and orchestra performed at the Wawel Castle a special rendition of the “..Arias” devoted to the opera work of Stanisław Moniuszko. The artists took the stage with magnificent guests - the Moniuszko gala was graced by the performance of the Polish National Ballet.

The annual, slightly staged, “World Opera Arias” concerts, which take place as part of the Krakow Opera Summer Festival, are popular as ever because they allow us to indulge in the most amazing and most dearly held fragments of stage works. It is no surprise then that yesterday the Arcade courtyard of the Royal Wawel Castle attracted a vast audience – wrote Anna Woźniakowska for polskamuza.eu.

The concert began with the energetic Halka overture. Part 1 ended with Highlander Dances, also from Halka, performed by the Krakow Opera Ballet. Dance inaugurated part 2 as well – the artists of the Polish National Ballet performed Moniuszko’s Concert Polonaise, which is rarely staged. Polish National Ballet dancers prepared the finale, too. As many as 16 pairs of ballet artists and the choir performed in one of the most gripping scenes of The Haunted Manor – the Mazur. Moreover, the programme included arias, duets and choral scenes from The Haunted Manor, Halka, Verbum Nobile, The Countess, and Beata. These were sung by Monika Korybalska, Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha, Ewa Vesin, Wojtek Gierlach, Tomasz Kuk, and Adam Szerszeń. The Krakow Opera Choir, Ballet, and Orchestra conducted by Tomasz Tokarczyk accompanied the artists. The event was hosted by Katarzyna Sanocka.

Anna Woźniakowska wrote: These fragments (...) proved the great melody inventiveness of Moniuszko, his stage nerve and skill with orchestra, but also the ability to create pastiche, which can be illustrated by Ewa’s Italian aria from The Countess, performed marvellously by Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha. All performers proved how close Moniuszko is to their hearts (despite not being simple) and that they relate to the emotions conveyed in the lyrics and music. The audience was moved as they heard Stefan’s and Jontek’s arias, sympathised with Halka, enjoyed Skołuba’s aria, marvelled at the grandeur of polonaise in Miecznik’s and Stanisław’s arias, watched the vibrant Highlander Dances performed by our Opera ballet, as well as the great dancers of the Polish National Ballet in polonaise and mazur.

We would like to thank our Artists and note that it is still possible to participate in the “World Opera Arias - Moniuszko!” concert at the Wawel Castle today (24 June 2019). Tickets are available at the Krakow Opera Box Office (until 5 p.m.) and Tourist Information Centre at the Wawel Castle (until 6 p.m.) and Theatre Box Office, located by the outer courtyard Cathedral, next to the Arcade Courtyard entrance (between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.).

The concerts are co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund under the “Moniuszko 2019 - Promesa” programme, which is operated by the Institute of Music and Dance.