To mark 10 years since the passing of Maria Fołtyn in December 2012, the Theatre Museum is holding a commemorative exhibition focusing on the life and career of this accomplished singer, opera director, founder of the International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition, an a woman who tirelessly promoted the composer’s work around the world.
The exhibition includes unique photographs, stage portraits, costumes, playbills, statuettes, numerous decorations and memorabilia presented to Ms Fołtyn during Moniuszko festivals, her foreign trips and milestone jubilees.
The guiding motif of the show is Halka – from the Artist’s professional debut in the role at the Opera Studio in Gdańsk in 1949, to her achievements as stage director and efforts to promote Moniuszko’s operas around the globe: in Havana, Tokyo, Osaka, Samara, Istanbul, Novosibirsk, Moscow, and other countries of the Communist bloc.
Originally the prima donna of the Warsaw Opera, Ms Fołtyn went on to become a soloist of the Leipzig Opera, where she was cast in Wagnerian roles, then achieved great success in Lubeck and Hamburg, and dazzled the audiences at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Carnegie Hall in New York.
The objects o display mainly come from the Artist’s private collection, now owned by the Oskar Kolberg School of Music in her native Radom, as well as the collection of the Theatre Museum, the archives of the Polish National Opera and the Stanisław Moniuszko Music Lovers’ Society, which she founded and led as president for many years. The exhibition also presents selected designs by Maria Jarosiewicz, who designed costumes for Moniuszko productions and was a long-standing collaborator of Maria Fotyn.