Mariusz Treliński’s staging of Moniuszko’s Halka is Polish National Opera’s co-production with the Theater an der Wien. It opened on 15 Dcember 2019 in Vienna and had its Polish premiere on 11 February 2020 in Warsaw. The ultramodern take on the 19th-century classic stunned Austrian and Polish critics alike.
‘The bravado staging by the brilliant duo of Treliński and Kudlička moves the story of a peasant girl to the present day. Thanks to an innovative use of lighting conceived by Marc Heinz and electronic sound effects that pierce the production, the Arcadian atmosphere of Polish countryside is replaced with an aura reminiscent of a Lynch movie,’ wrote the Austria Press Agency.
‘Set in a hotel in [the mountain resort of] Zakopane during the Edward Gierek era, the Polish National Opera’s [new] production of Halka gathered impetus without losing any of its musical integrity, for which credit should also be given to Piotr Beczała and his acting performance. During the overture Mariusz Treliński gave us a truly cinematic retrospective that created the aura of a psychological thriller. The design, costumes, fashion and the ways of the disco era portrayed in the wedding reception scenes all work very well,’ wrote Jacek Cieślak in the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita.
‘Mariusz Treliński’s Halka is the best production of the Polish National Opera in years and one of the best by Treliński ever. (…) The audience gave the artists a standing ovation and everyone could feel the reaction was spontaneous. This is a Polish-Austrian co-production and I hope that it will now tour all over the world. Mariusz Treliński and his Halka are wonderful ambassadors of Polish culture,’ stated Katarzyna Janowska on the Polish news website Onet.pl.
The other nominees were: Jan Klata for Mother Joan of the Angels after Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz (Nowy Teatr, Warsaw), Agnieszka Glińska for Moniuszko’s Halka (Polish National Opera, Teatr Wielki, Warsaw, Młynarski Hall), Wojciech Kościelniak for Przybysz on motifs from Shaun Tan’s The Arrival (Teatr Collegium Nobilium, Warsaw), and Bartosz Szydłowski for Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, Kraków).
The award is presented by Teatr magazine. The jury members were: Jacek Cieślak, Jacek Kopciński (chair), Wojciech Majcherek, Jacek Wakar, Kalina Zalewska.
Halka returns on our stage in October for a run of five performances (9, 11, 13, 15, 21 October) BUY A TICKET
Pictured: Mariusz Treliński. Photo by Robert Wolański