The project is a joint venture of the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, the Polish National Opera, and the Museum of Warsaw. The names of the librettist and composer of the new work will be announced in April and May, respectively. The choice will be made by two separate juries.
The new opera will be inspired by the unprecedented rebuilding effort in Warsaw after World War II destruction. It will tell the story of the city rising from the ashes, plans to build ‘the best city in the world’, the determination, optimism and sky-high aspirations of those behind the reconstruction. It will be a universal tale of hope and the triumph of the will to live over destruction and death.
The form and style
The opera will be written to be performed on a large stage by a symphony orchestra, chorus, solo singers and dancers, using electronics and projection of images. It is meant to be both communicative and modern, drawing on the contemporary means of expression and language of music, while referencing traditional opera forms. Its running time will be around 120 minutes.
The organisers have invited several recognised composers to submit their score proposals. The music jury is headed by composer Jerzy Kornowicz, director of the Warsaw Autumn Festival.
The librettist will be selected by a jury led by dramaturge Piotr Gruszczyński. The libretto will be based on Grzegorz Piątek’s award-winning book Najlepsze miasto świata. Warszawa w odbudowie 1945–1949 [The Best City in the World: The Rebuilding of Warsaw 1945–1949] published by Wydawnictwo W.A.B. in 2020.
The new opera will open in September/October 2025, as the final event of the 68th Warsaw Autumn Festival and the first premiere of the 2025/26 season at the Polish National Opera, to mark 80 years since the start of Warsaw’s reconstruction.
• January/February 2023 – invitation of prospective composers
• February 2023 – invitation of prospective librettists
• April 2023 – librettist to be announced
• May 2023 – composer to be announced
• June 2024 – production starts
• September/October 2025 – Polish premiere of the work
Pictured (left to right): Janusz Marynowski (Director, Sinfonia Varsovia); Aldona Machnowska-Góra (Deputy Mayor of Warsaw); Ewa Malinowska-Grupińska (Head of the Warsaw City Council); Jarosław Trybuś (leader of the project); Jerzy Kornowicz (Director of the Warsaw Autumn Festival, chair of the music jury); Agnieszka Wolak (Head of the Literary and Marketing Depertment, Polish National Opera). Photo by: Serwis SV