Voice in the theatre, voices in the theatre
“This rhythm gets into the blood, it doesn’t take long, joy, dancing and song, in the midst of confetti-like snow, take your partner into a warm hold, let love fill the dance floor...” – it was with these words of a song by Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz from the movie “Wodzirej (Top Dog)” that Adam Szerszeń swayed the audience of the Krakow Opera’s carnival concert, which took place last Saturday under the title “The Voice in Theatre, Voices in the Theatre.” The evening was graced by the presence of the President of Krakow, prof. Jacek Majchrowski.
Our Opera hosts traditional carnival concerts with a repertoire which was best summarised by the director of the Opera, Bogusław Nowak, in one of his introductions: “It is music that we like to play, and that you like to listen to when we play it.” The joy of performing pieces beloved by the Krakow audience was present form the very beginning of the program, when the orchestra played the overture to “Carmen” by George Bizet, under the direction of Tomasz Tokarczyk.
The opera theme dominated the first half of the concert, during which Iwona Socha performed one of the most beautiful arias by Giacomo Puccini - “O mio babbino caro” from “Gianni Schicchi”, and Jarosław Bielecki presented his lyrical tenor in “Una furtiva lagrima” from “The Elixir of Love” by Gaetano Donizetti. The Opera’s choir also displayed its artistic abilities in performing “Che interminabile” from “Don Pasquale” by Donizetti and the thrilling “Polovtsian Dances” from “Prince Igor” by Alexander Borodin.
The carnival ambiance, filled with ever-changing emotions was created not only by the music, but also by a special guest – Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz, who spoke about the curtain being specially designed for the Krakow Opera and presented ceremonially to the audience. The work was done using the gel-art technique of painting, also used by Pawluśkiwicz since the 1990s. The artist humorously admitted that behind the “special Hindu and Japanese gels” are simply... gel pens, which are used to “tap on” dots, from which comes the painting.
During the second part of the concert, Pawluśkiewicz treated the audience with a jazz improvisation on piano, during which he used not only his rich musical imagination and efficient fingers, but also... his elbows to strike massive chords.
Following his performance we heard four fragments from Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” building the epic mood, also very proper for carnival celebrations. Monika Korybalska counterpointed the fragments with her performance of the musical hit “Przetańczyć całą noc.” Romantic duets were also heard, such as the charming confession by Jarosław Bielecki in “Ninon” as well as the trembling, touching Spanish guitar in “Historia de un Amor.” A hot sun enlightened the stage when Iwona Socha performed “Besame mucho”, a huge hit of the Mexican singer and composer, Consuelo Velázquez.
The concert finale was crowned with “Zaklinanie, czarowanie” by Pawluśkiewicz, once masterfully performed by Anna Szałapak in Piwnica pod Baranami. The song was given a new, momentous arrangement for the choir, orchestra and four soloists. One of the artists was also the composer, who received a long and warm applause. The guide of this musical evening full of surprises was Katarzyna Sanocka.
The entire theatre team would like to thank the audience for such a great turnout, applause and enjoying the evening together. We are not saying goodbye to the carnival yet and we invite you to the “New Year in Vienna – Shrovetide in Krakow” concert which will take place on 2 March 2019.