Stanisław Moniuszko

Opera in four acts
Libretto: Włodzimierz Wolski
World premiere of the four-act version: 1 January 1858, Teatr Wielki, Warsaw 
Premiere of this production: 15 December 2019, Theater an der Wien
A co-production with the Theater an der Wien
In the original Polish with English surtitles

Moniuszko never visited the Tatra mountains, nor did he hear the native music of the Polish Highlands. He simply imagined it, creating a universal folk idiom from different elements of Polish folk music. And so, his opera about Highlanders quite surprisingly features a mazurka (which has since become one of those very Polish folk tunes that originated in the mind of a composer and then became popular among the actual folk), while the rather agreeable ‘Highlander dances’ are to highlander music what mozzarella is to oscypek. The librettist, Włodzimierz Wolski, originally wanted the opera to be set in the region of Kielce, more than 200 km to the north of the Tatras… Still, the score is fresh and delightful, on a par with other operas written at the same time elsewhere in the world, as evidenced by the recent performance of Halka in Italian by a lineup of international singers and the legendary Europa Galante under Fabio Biondi. Although it was written almost half a century earlier, Jontek’s aria Szumią jodły (The fir trees sigh on mountain peaks) is our E lucevan e stelle – a gem of Polish vocal literature that gives delighted audiences goosebumps. Overall, this story of a tragic mésalliance echoing with underlying social tensions seems to be an operatic evergreen. The new production from the award-winning director Mariusz Treliński will undoubtedly address the important issues of the day.



Chorus and Orchestra of the Polish National Opera
extras, dancers


  • Patrons of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Partners of the Opera Academy

  • Partners of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Strategic partner of the Moniuszko Year

  • Media patrons

  • Patron medialny premiery

  • Partners of the reception