Poznań Opera Company
Opera in four acts
Libretto: Włodzimierz Wolski
World premiere if the four-act version: 1 January 1858, Teatr Wielki, Warsaw
Premiere of this production: 26 June 2015, Poznań Opera House
A production of the Poznań Opera House
The production is available for watching on Operavision until 20 March 2020.
Polish disputes around Halka will not – it seems – go away any time soon. A masterpiece of Polish opera; a work deeply rooted in the folk tradition; a piece that cannot be compared with other manifestations of Polish 19th-century opera; an element of Poles’ national identity, and a perfect example of an artist taking responsibility for his own community… This is one side of the coin. Here is the other: the folklore is superficial, there is no real attempt made to grasp the essence of traditional music; it is just a love story disguised as a patriotic tale; it is a ‘merely adequate’ work validated by the power of the nationalist canon. The debate about Halka is – in other words – a debate about art itself, its tasks, its servient role, and its values. Somehow, the piece epitomizes the dilemma of partitioned Poland and its art, which was torn between the imperative to serve the needs of the day and to serve itself, between the necessary provincialism and international dimension characteristic for great art. Exactly 170 years after the opera’s premiere in Vilnius, the conflict has not been resolved and affects all aspects of our life as a nation. Halka remains with us, because its central dilemma is not a matter of the past yet.
Supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland
Produced under the patronage of PWM Edition as part of TUTTI.pl, a project promoting the performance of Polish music
Patrons of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera
Partners of the Opera Academy
Partners of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera
Patron medialny premiery