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Anna Bolena
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3 hrs 15 mins

Anna Bolena

Gaetano Donizetti
About

This is a story of English queen, the second wife of Henry VIII, who will be beheaded as a result of the next romance of the king. The opera portrays the protagonist in the period when she is devoid of mercy. The story revolves around court intrigues, supposed to prove the titular character’s alleged betrayal, which is an excuse to sentence her. The great and well-written libretto allowed Donizetti to develop his talent in composing attractive arias, duets and ensemble scenes up to the great, final scene of the character's madness. The opera requires artistry from the titular character – in the premiere, which took place in 1830 in the Teatro Carcano in Milan, the legendary Giuditta Pasta performed with success, and the piece immediately brought fame to the composer. Other prominent performers were Maria Callas, Monserrat Caballé, Joan Sutherland, Anna Netrebko, and Joanna Woś. 

Ariadne on Naxos
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2 hrs 50 mins

Ariadne on Naxos

Richard Strauss
About

A spectacular show, full of ideas and surprises, harlequinades and wit in the spirit of commedia dell’arte, circus-like fantasy and the myth of the Minotaur, Venetian carnival and bacchanalia in the finale... The directors of the production were provoked to come up with this extraordinary blend by the fantastic idea underlying the libretto written by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, a celebrated German poet, considered second only to Goethe: that of combining high tand low arts, opera seria and buffa. And all this was employed to tell a story of love, both the ideal, romantic one, and that which is more mundane, sensual. The result was an intriguing work, full of fancy and imagination, with music which gathered raving reviews. After premiering in its final version in 1916, "Ariadne" gained a permanent place in the repertoires of music theatres the world over and is still doing very well today.

Carmen
next performance
29.05.2020, 6:30 pm
3 hrs 20 mins

Carmen

Georges Bizet
About

In its first version Carmen was written in a form similar to a comic opera, where songs and spoken parts intertwined. This fact, according to the then custom, blocked the work’s way to the stage of Great Paris Opera and the first night had to take place in the Comic Opera. However, the audience of that place preferred light and funny musical comedies and did not appreciate the tragic ending of Bizet’s work - this is one of the reasons of a cold reception of Carmen. However the more important reason for an initial distaste of the public and critics for the opera was its innovative content. Bizet broke the unwritten tradition according to which topics of operas were to be taken from the world of myths and legends or old historical periods and life of the so called “higher spheres”. Instead of conventional heroes, often full of artificial pathos, the composer brought up living and contemporary people - soldiers, smugglers and female workers from a cigar manufactory. 

Eugene Onegin
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3 hrs

Eugene Onegin

Piotr Czajkowski
About

Tchaikovsky described his romantic opera, based on Pushkin`s novel in verse of the same title, as lyrical scenes, underscoring the poetic nature of the work. The directors of this staging have followed the same path; without highlighting any realistic details, they have conjured up a poetic, lyrical tale of lost illusions, of time which heals all wounds but also takes one ever farther away from the excitements of youth, strips all the characters in the story of their dreams and frustrates their desires. Metaphoric images, based on the motif of melting ice, seem to complement the poignant music, vibrating with passions, expressing yearning, sadness and regret.

Gianni Schicchi | Pagliacci
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2 hrs 40 mins

Gianni Schicchi | Pagliacci

Giacomo Puccini | Ruggero Leoncavallo
About

The story is about extreme emotions that become a source of destruction. They devour a human and devastate his life. In “Pagliacci”, lust for love and jealousy, leading to a catastrophe, are the destructive forces, whereas in “Gianni Schicchi” these are money as well as greed, the latter being capable of any kind of wickedness and cruelty. The two titles were combined in the form of the theatrical performance. In “Pagliacci”, what was supposed to be a fiction will turn into a grim reality and lead to a tragedy, whereas in “Gianni Schicchi”, we will witness a great spectacle of human behaviour and attitudes, presented in a farcical or even grotesque form. The attractions in which different forms of art meet are also guaranteed. These include: breakdance, circus and illusion arts. An additional pleasure is music which reflects the features of the heroes. It also creates the world of situations, relationships, feelings...

Joan of Arc at the Stake
next performance
04.04.2020, 6:30 pm

The work is inspired by the character of Joan of Arc, the national hero of France, her trial and preparations leading up to burning her at the stake. The libretto created by Paul Claudel, poet and playwright, focuses on Joan as her mission concludes and she thinks of her life through the prism of awaiting execution.

‘Joan of Arc at the Stake’ is the best known theatrical work of Swiss composer Arthur Honegger (1892-1955) – the creator of not only symphonies and concerts but also music for film and ballet, and the author of the famous ‘Pacific 231’, which depicts the sound of a moving locomotive. The composer classified his work as a dramatic oratorio. Orchestra parts are interwoven with spoken parts uttered by the protagonists, Joan and Brother Dominique, who prepares her for death. The eponymous role was taken on by such famous artists as Ida Rubinstein, who inspired the creation of the piece (world premiere took place in 1938 in Basel), and Ingrid Bergman (San Carlo Theatre in Naples, 1953).  It is believed that clear, concise (approximately 75 minutes) and moving narrative of the piece as well as exceptionally emotional music which “sparks the imagination with images that are simple yet strongly affecting, where accessibility does not come down to being undemanding...” (P. Kamiński), contributed to its success.

The performance is being prepared by Monika Strzępka, the director of engaging and discussion-provoking theatrical works, and Tomasz Tokarczyk, Music Director of the Krakow Opera.

La Bohème
next performance
30.04.2020, 6:30 pm
2 hrs 50 mins

La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini
About

‘...freshness, youth, passion, cheerfulness, tears shed in silence, a love that gives you joy and makes you suffer,’ Puccini wrote about the perfect theme for an opera which he had found in Murger’s novel Scènes de la vie de bohème, which he himself could relate to through his own experience of several years spent as a student and artist at Milan’s conservatory. The duo of Giacosa and Illica magically turned the material into a superb libretto, not without some intervention of the composer himself. The latter endowed the tale of the Parisian bohemian life with a melodious phrase congenial with the situation, proving himself a master in building up the mood, inciting yearnings, and moving the audience. The residents of a poor garret are about to abandon their artsy spaces and walk into a life ruled by different laws. For now, however, they are experiencing  their first loves, and the first complications that come with them, as well as the first misfortunes in their lives, including death, which forebodes the end of their beautiful amusements, the end of carefree times, and thus a goodbye to youth. But let us not ponder on this yet, let us forget all about it and let ourselves be overtaken by the joyful mood of Musetta’s waltz, or the enticing words of the main heroine, ‘Si, mi chiamano Mimi’(‘Yes, they call me Mimi’) and Rodolfo’s bold attempt at seduction, ‘Che gelida manina’ (‘What a cold hand’). We’ll be better off that way.

La Traviata
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2 hrs 55 mins

La Traviata

Giuseppe Verdi
About

“La Traviata”, based on the novel “The Lady of the Camellias” by Alexandre Dumas, fils, is a story of a fallen woman, a high-class Parisian courtesan and her salvation through a sacrificial offering of love and death. Krzysztof Nazar dispenses with the historical costume and the social context of the plot, focusing instead on the characters’ psychology, emotions and motivations. In his interpretation, Violetta Valéry faces the fact of terminal illness and the inevitability of the end of life. Disillusioned, she decides to enjoy the remaining time to the maximum. But that is exactly when she encounters true love, and with it values that change her vision of the world and people. The production addresses the theme of love tinged with a sense of passing away, it shows the human strength of character and struggle against the fear of death, it tells a tale of sacrifice and loneliness, of the attitudes and choices we face regardless of times or place.

Madama Butterfly
next performance
24.04.2020, 6:30 pm
3 hrs

Madama Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini
About

One of the most beautiful stories of unrequited love. It tells us of Geisha Cio-Cio-San’s passion to a US Navy Lieutenant which ends tragically for the girl owing to cross-cultural misalliance and differences. Since the 1904 premiere, the opera has belonged to the world repertoire. It has always been an ambition of the greatest soprano voices to interpret the main role. Obviously, the figure of Butterfly dominates the opera, and the scale of passions involved in that role contains anything from joy and love to longing and depression to despair and resignation.

Norma
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3 hrs

Norma

Vincenzo Bellini
About

The titular heroine is an archpriestess torn between her love for a man, a Roman invader, and her service to her own community. In Laco Adamik’s interpretation, the problems of power and servitude of the nation are the backdrop of the grand drama of love experienced by the protagonists. Love and betrayal, jealousy and lust for vengeance, combined with pride and nobility, that determine the course of action for the characters, show the depths of their humanity, but are to the same extent destructive, and lead everything to a disaster. The director follows the music, which wonderfully expresses the power of emotion and strength of character. 

“Norma” is thought to be a perfect opera, Bellini’s demonstration of inexhaustible musical invention. Only the skilled voices dare to take on the part of Norma. It is believed to be the most difficult soprano part. In our staging, it will be sung by Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha and Karina Skrzeszewska.

Orpheus and Eurydice
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2 hrs

Orpheus and Eurydice

Christoph Willibald Gluck
About

The opera’s libretto is based on the Greek myth. Eurydice, wife of a Thracian singer Orpheus, is bitten by a viper and dies. To get her back, Orpheus descends to the underworld. He almost succeeds in leading Eurydice out of the dead but he breaks a divine ban, looks at her and loses his beloved forever... "Orpheus and Eurydice" is the thirtieth of 107 operas left by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) - German composer, Kapellmeister at the Emperor’s court in Vienna, author successful also in Paris and acclaimed to have been the reformer of opera. Giorgio Madia, an Italian by birth, working as a choreographer for the most important European stages, the author of "Cinderella" staging at the Krakow Opera a few years ago, is preparing "Orpheus and Eurydice" (the French version) for the first time, especially for the Krakow Opera. It will be both an opera and a ballet spectacle. Every opera character has its counterpart in a character from the ballet ground.

Tannhäuser
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4 hrs

Tannhäuser

Richard Wagner
About

The composer based his libretto on the old legends of a medieval minstrel-knight who found himself inside the Venusberg (mountain of Venus) where he then lost himself in love’s revelry. Still unhappy with his lot, he left the goddess to rejoin humanity, but when he failed to find his place among his own kind, he set out to request audience with the pope, to seek absolution and salvation. When working on his opera, abundant in theatrical elements and dense with meanings, Wagner made Tannhäuser a convincingly human character. Laco Adamik’s production moves away from the Romantic convention of staging the piece and brings it closer to our time.  It becomes a story not only about love and its varieties, but above all about a man torn between culture and nature, sensuality and spirituality, about the protagonist’s maturing on his way to finding himself, the essence of his humanity.

The Elixir of Love
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2 hrs 30 mins

The Elixir of Love

Gaetano Donizetti
About

A jewel of the Italian opera buffa, as becomes a work of comedy it is all about love complications, this time in a rustic, bucolic setting. The characters’ amorous adventures come to a happy end not so much through their belief in the magic powers of the mysterious elixir as through their steadfast conviction that the world we live in is subject to an eternal order, which also comprises tolerance for the weaknesses and errors of human nature. Praised for the subtlety of the scenario and the psychological credibility of the characters, the work is also endowed with something elusive, evoking melancholy and yearning. Following this path, what the directors of the present stage production propose is a crazy sentimental journey to a bygone yet not-so-distant time, still remembered and reminisced upon, to convince us that goodness and love are invariably fascinating in every era and clime...

The Haunted Manor
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2 hrs 50 mins

The Haunted Manor

Stanisław Moniuszko
About

Two brothers returning from the battlefield make a promise to remain bachelors, but when they meet the beautiful ladies from the neighbouring manor, their vows become much harder to keep... Director, Laco Adamik, aims at revealing Polish national vices and show that, regardless of the epoch, these vices remain the same. The prologue and the epilogue refer to the present day, thus giving the show a modern framework. Thanks to its well-woven, lively plot, which is fuelled by vows of bachelorhood, constantly surprises the audience with changes of mood and delights them with humour, wit and lyricism, The Haunted Manor remains one of the Polish music lovers’ all-time favourites. It comes as no surprise, given that, musically speaking, Moniuszko’s work is perfectly crafted: melodically and harmonically inventive and scored with immense virtuosity.

The Love for Three Oranges
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No dates available
2 hrs 10 mins

When son of the King of Clubs is struck by melancholy, laughter seems to be the only remedy. Despite various courtly conspiracies and power games, the Prince  is freed from his malady and sets out on a quest to find love, entrapped magically in three oranges. Basing his opera on a fairytale by Carlo Gozzi, Prokofiev depicted the world of magic and witchcraft with considerable distance. He created a multilayer work, balancing between surrealistic farce, grotesque humour, and parody. Combining vivid action with a meticulously woven fabric of orchestral music, he showed extraordinary inventiveness and his own unique style. 

Michał Znaniecki places the action in a Moscow home for the elderly. As the television set breaks down, the doctors decide to perform the fairy story of 'The Love for Three Oranges'. Charmingly absurd, the tale turns into a metaphor-packed political satire.

The Marriage of Figaro
next performance
22.05.2020, 6:30 pm
3 hrs 20 mins

The Marriage of Figaro

Wolfgang Amadeusz Mozart
About

Although it has been over two hundred years since the premiere of "The Marriage of Figaro" which took place on 1 May 1786 in Vienna’s Burgtheater, the opera's attractiveness has not faded away. It is the masterpiece of the opera theatre. The great libretto was written by Lorenzo da Ponte and based on a brilliant comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais which turned out to have prophetic inclinations over the coming French Revolution. The music was wonderfully light and sensuous. It mirrored the tensions of action, reflected the atmosphere and was full of humour. The libretto and the music make a unique whole. "The Marriage of Figaro" is an exciting comedy, full of unexpected turns of events. It is a story of erotic intrigue in which characters are perfectly portrayed. What is more, it was the first opera which included a critique of social relations.

The creators of our performance have remained faithful to the Mozart’s masterpiece. They accentuate its timeless merits, including in particular the truthfulness of characters, emotions and relations between the characters. At the same time, they do not avoid social issues addressed in the story of marriage between Figaro and Susanna.

The Tales of Hoffmann
next performance
17.04.2020, 6:30 pm
3 hrs 45 mins

The Tales of Hoffmann

Jacques Offenbach
About

One of the most intriguing operatic pieces that allures with mystery and offers endless interpretations. The dream of producers and performers. But also a challenge. Authors of the staging reach to the fantastic stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), which inspired Offenbach’s opera. By introducing us to the modern worlds of civilisation, real however looking ahead, they translate them into the contemporary language. Realism and fantasy, contemporaneity and a futuristic vision – this is the poetics of the staging. In terms of music, the performance presents a selected version of the opera which, after all, was not finished by the composer. Except for the best known “Barcarolle” and “Olympia’s Aria”, we are going to hear plenty of other magnificent arias and terzettos, pastiche and parodies, which build up the musical world of the piece.

The Turk in Italy
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3 hrs

The Turk in Italy

Gioacchino Rossini
About

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.

Tosca
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2 hrs 45 mins

Tosca

Giacomo Puccini
About

“Tosca” is a part of the standard opera repertoire and has allowed many singers to create unforgettable characters. The opera features some of Puccini’s most splendid arias, “Recondita armonia...” and “E lucevan le stelle...”, interwoven with the story of a tragic love between the singer Tosca and the painter Cavaradossi, who fall prey to the police chief Scarpia’s machinations. As with every great work of worldwide fame, the producers are faced with the danger of rendering the opera too banal or too predictable, but the Krakow Opera’s staging of “Tosca” has a lot to recommend itself. Apart from an absolute vocal mastery, the lead singers show excellent acting skills – their characters are deeply moving and believable. The dramatic story of Tosca and Cavaradossi’s love as seen at the Krakow Opera House moves the audience to tears.