Gustaw Holoubek in memoriam

An evening of poetry and music


Holoubek’s voice was like music; he was known for the virtuosity with which he spoke Polish and was one of the first winners of the Master of Polish Language title. His Great Improvisation from Mickewicz’s Forefathers’ Eve was treated by contemporary theatre directors as an undisputed standard of stage monologue. An outstanding actor, he was also an intellectual par excellence, which does not often go hand in hand these days. Raised in a family that cherished music (‘My father was absolutely mad about opera; he’d buy opera recordings which I’d listen to since early childhood… I know at least a dozen operas by heart and can hum them, if I want.’). At drama school, he met Artur Malawski, a solfège teacher, who’d take students to music concerts. Holoubek grew to admire baroque polyphony because of its formal discipline and a certain timelessness: ‘The music stops, but I can still hear it play.’ He was less fond of romantic music, as listening to it he would ‘stop listening to the music and start admiring the craft of the composer’. Contemporary music was the most challenging to him, but would make an exception for composers whose works ‘displayed clear signs of genius’. These included his personal friend Witold Lutosławski, whom Holoubek visited in his ‘soundproofed study where you could hear your own bronchitis.’ To celebrate the great actor’s memory, each year the Teatr Wielki holds a concert featuring his favorite music. 


  • Patrons of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Partners of the Opera Academy

  • Partners of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Technological partner

  • Media patrons