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Teresica – una pasión
Opera serenata with songs of the Golden Age
Libretto translated by Marta Klubowicz
Written and directed by Fred Apke
Music directed by Zygmunt Magiera
Musical adaptation and arrangement: Mikołaj Blajda
Set and costume designs: Bożena Pędziwiatr
Choreographed by Romana Angel
Director’s assistant and stage manager: Magdalena Wąsowska
Prompter: Dorota Sawka
Soloists’ and choir coaches: Grzegorz Brajner, Wioletta Fluda, Joanna Steczek, Olga Tsymbaluk
SOLOISTS, VOCAL ENSEMBLE and INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE
On the occasion of her birthday, Donna Anna coaxed her husband into letting her stage in the palace garden a theatre play titled "Teresica – The Compendium of Love". Sensing a disaster, the countess’ husband unwillingly agrees to the undertaking. For a long time, Donna Anna's behaviour has been hiding a love secret. So has the history of Teresica - a country girl being the protagonist of the staged tale...
The performance is based on songs of Spanish Renaissance, which were presented in a theatre setting for the first time at Krakow Opera. The music makes a wonderful combination of Judeo-Christian and Moorish elements. Adaptation and arrangement of the songs were prepared by Mikołaj Blajda, a composer and instrumentalist. The production is held under the musical direction of Zygmunt Magiera who has incorporated in this project his former experience and knowledge of early music. The set and costume designs were prepared by Bożena Pędziwiatr. The entire production was invented and is directed by Fred Apke, a German director, playwright and actor who is active on Polish stages.
I found fascinating even the very course of events bringing the work into existence. The director, and the author of the libretto, was inspired to create this opera-serenata (with a spoken text) by the “Renaissance Music in Naples” long play, once a legend in the circles of early music, performed by Hesperion XX, an ensemble of Jordi Savall and his wife, Montserrat Figueras, a soprano, and by a newspaper article presenting Ana de Mendoza y de la Cerda, a beautiful Spaniard woman with blindfold over her eye, who had to marry Ruy Gómez de Silva when she was only 12. Fred Apke decided to take together the sad story of Donna Ana and Catalonian, Sephardic and Spanish songs of the Golden Age.
We are guests at Donna Ana’s birthday party (Marta Klubowicz), who wants to remind her husband (Jan Monczka) the story of Teresica (Iwona Socha), a beautiful Jewess, full of suffering and passion. Raped by her brother, derided by neighbours and sold as wife to an old tailor, she finally fell in love with Miguel (Krzysztof Kozarek), a soldier, became pregnant by him, but the child was born dead ... and for the sin she committed, she would be severely punished.
In the dramatic layer, "Teresica" is dominated by Marta Klubowicz, an excellent actress, not seen in theatres for a long time (she also translated the libretto), whose performance of Donna Ana is both heartbreaking and expressive. She managed to create the full-blooded character of a genuinely Shakespearian heroine. Vocally, it was a great success of Iwona Socha, who perfectly handled Renaissance songs, singing in Old French, Catalan and Old Italian. Bożena Pędziwiatr conjured up a beautiful garden – the artists perform in a palace patio, festooned with plants and flowers, like in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and with Arabic mosaics. She also designed beautiful costumes, and especially the dress, designed meticulously, thanks to which Marta Klubowicz has a truly royal look.
We should also express special recognition to Mikołaj Blajda, the author of arrangement, and to Zygmunt Magiera (Fernando), the musical director of the play, who conducted the supporting quintet and trained the coir of 11 voices. It has turned out that in the Krakow Opera musicians can play early music instruments and the choir can dance to the cheerful final chaconne (choreography by Romana Agnel).
I am truly bewitched by 'Teresica' by Apke because of its beauty, the sad story it tells and simplicity.
Mateusz Borkowski, 'Gazeta Wyborcza', 26 May 2014