Beyond Aida: Egyptomania on Polish stages

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Organised by: Theatre Museum 
Venue: Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, downstairs foyer (use the main entrance) 
Open for viewing:
8 October–4 December 2022

A fascination with ancient Egypt entered Polish theatre at the turn of the 18th and 19th century, manifesting itself in many motifs over the next 200 years. They arrived together with foreign fashions and internationally popular plays, but there were also Polish theatrical pieces and novel adaptations with Egyptian themes. The most prominent examples include Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, Cyprian K. Norwid’s Cleopatra and Caesar, Schikaneder and Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Ghislanzoni and Verdi’s opera Aida, Herbert’s operetta The Wizard of the Nile, the ballet The Pharaoh’s Daughter with music by Pugni and libretto by Saint-Georges and Petipa, or stage adaptations of Bolesław Prus’s novel Pharaoh. The majority of the works were meant for adult audiences, yet there a children’s puppet show titled The Pharaoh’s Son was staged by Maria Kann at the Pinokio Puppet Theatre in Łódź in 1970. The exhibition shows archive set designs, costumes, props, photographs, and recordings.