Halka (Vilnius version)

Stanisław Moniuszko

Opera in two acts
Libretto: Włodzimierz Wolski
Instrumentation and score preparation: Michał Dobrzyński
World premiere: 1 January 1848, Vilnius
Premiere of this production: 8 June 2019, Polish National Opera, Teatr Wielki, Warsaw
A co-production with: Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic – European Art Centre, Białystok
In the original Polish with Polish surtitles

Oscar Wilde claimed he never read a book he had to review, as it ‘prejudiced him so’. Moniuszko apparently never saw the Tatra Mountains, nor heard the music of Podhale, the Polish highlands – and so much for the better, as he could have become unnecessarily prejudiced. Following his intuition, he called into life new Highlanders and his own highlander music, and in time this music seeped into the national imaginarium. Agnieszka Glińska’s staging begins in a disconcerting way: instead of a joyous engagement party, we see guests wearing attire more appropriate for mourning or a funeral. On the outskirts of the world of the better-connected a colourful figure appears, clearly belonging to a separate order – behold Halka. Her gradual descent into madness is played out remarkably. Deprived of support, taken advantage of, humiliated and unheard – the logic of drama leads mercilessly to the tragic end. The two acts (‘classic’ Halka counts four) are dense with emotions and moving – superb staging!



Chorus and Orchestra of the Polish National Opera

Dancers/performers: Magdalena Fejdasz, Wojciech Grudziński, Daniela Komędera-Miśkiewicz, Małgorzata Mielech, Aleksandra Osowicz, Gieorgij Puchalski, Stefano Silvino, Monika Szpunar, Adi Weinberg-Prejna

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