The Turk in Italy
Composer: Gioacchino Rossini
Director: Włodzimierz Nurkowski
Music director: Tomasz Tokarczyk
Set and costume designer: Anna Sekuła
Choreographer: Violetta Suska
SOLOISTS, KRAKOW OPERA ORCHESTRA, CHOIR and BALLET
No dates available
During the Carnival season, Selim, the eponymous Turk, arrives in Italy in search of entertainment. In the prevailing merriment and excitement it is no longer possible to tell who is crazy about whom: whether he about the beautiful women that he encounters or they about him, seeking exotic experiences. The constellations of love triangles and rectangles become ever more complicated through a series of misunderstandings, errors, and disguises – all immersed in the element of dance, as is becoming the period of humanity’s carefree craziness.
Il turco in Italia, the comic opera written in 1814 on commission from La Scala by the 22-year-old – and already-famous – composer, has seen a worldwide comeback after a prolonged period of oblivion. The part of Fiorilla has been performed by Maria Callas, Cecilia Bartoli, and recently by Aleksandra Kurzak at the Royal Opera House. The present production, only third in postwar Poland, and first in Krakow, is a promise of great fun – colourful, surprising, and spectacular – with music that is always a delight to hear.
(…) 'Il Turco' is full of gags – a slapstick comedy at its best with its fast-paced plot, a colourful extravaganza and live acrobatics on stage. But first of all it is a vocal challenge. Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha is in the lead in the role of frivolous Fiorilla, the flirtatious young wife on an old husband.
Together with her partner Grzegorz Szostak in the role of her husband Geronio, they create an irresistibly amusing duo – both showing huge comical talents. But it was her who particularly captivated the audience with her masterly vocal cascades. (...) Łukasz Goliński, the Gdańsk-based baritone, associated with Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, was a remarkable Turco. The popularand much liked Mariusz Godlewski this time revealed a completely different emploi than usual (he is known for the roles of unhappy lovers or cold-hearted bastards). This time he plays a poet who organises the plot, showing a sense of humour, as does Andrzej Lampert in the role of Narciso, a lover Fiorilla has dumped. (…) The stage director Włodzimierz Nurkowski has made productions of very different genres, but as can be seen, he has a gift for comedy. Anny Sekuła’s rainbow-coloured stage design and costumes combined with Violetta Suska’s choreography re- creating the Venice carnival, were genuine fireworks, a pleasure for the eye. No bizarre effects – just a good laugh and fun”.
Dorota Szwarcman, http://szwarcman.blog.polityka.pl, 5.03.2016
'Il turco in Italia' is not an easy opera to perform. Here Tomasz Tokarczyk perfectly haldled the orchestra; next to Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha, we can see a parade of funny characters: Łukasz Goliński (Selim), Grzegorz Szostak (Geronio, Fiorilla’s husband), and last but not least Mariusz Godlewski as the Poet who is behind the entire erotic intrigue, showing all his natural vocal charms. Jacek Marczyński, ”Rzeczpospolita”, 7.03.2016
'Il turco in Italia': the stage undoubtedly belongs to Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha, who shows that extremely difficult coloratura parts are a piece of cake for her. By the way, her Fiorilla proves that she a fine comedian too. Just like her partner Grzegorz Szostak in the role of the good old Geronio. The baritone Łukasz Goliński as the title Turco – Selim is also noteworthy”.
Mateusz Borkowski, ”Dziennik Polski”, 7.03.2016
A carnival, a colourful extravaganza, pranks and fun ruled the Kraków Opera stage during the Friday premiere of Rossinini’s opera 'Il turco in Italia'. This work is not in the canon of the most popular operas, so we owe even more thanks to the Kraków Opera ensemble for expanding the repertoire of our musical theatre by reaching for less known works. Włodzimierz Nurkowski, who directed the performance, created a colourful parade of funny figures inspired by the Venice carnival; they reveal human imperfections and vices in a humorous manner. He was helped by two ladies: Anna Sekuła (stage design and costumes) and Violetta Suska (choreography and stage movement). The background multimedia projections added a special flair to the whole production (…). The audience had a good fun watching comical dialogues between Fiorilla and Geronio constantly teasing each other, the endeavours of hesitant Selim, the suffering of Narciso, the abandoned lover, and the Poet’s tricks to move forward the intrigue as its spiritus movens. The artists spared no effort to meet the challenge of an opera buffa, showing their comical talents as appropriate for this genre. Judging from the audience’s reaction they totally succeeded (...). Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha in the role of Fiorilla captivated with the vocal charm showing her coloratura potential in full (...). Grzegorz Szostak as the cuckold Geronio is absolutely charming as a helpless husband, equally accomplished as a singer and as an actor. A big hand for him! (...) Andrzej Lampert as Narciso and Mariusz Godlewski in the role of the Poet took up their task maintaining a healthy distance from themselves, taking it with a pinch of salt. The Kraków Opera chorus, as usual perfectly prepared by Zygmunt Magiera, gave a nice performance, not to forget the ballet. The orchestra under the baton of Tomasz Tokarczyk played Rossini’s music finely and lightly (...). The new production on the Kraków Opera repertoire will certainly attract hosts of music aficionados to Lubicz.
Anna Kańska Małachowska, http://www.malanart.blogspot.com, 7.03.2016