Xymena Zaniewska debuted at the Teatr Wielki already in the 1960s as a stage designer for a concert featuring Regina Smendzianka Salon warszawski (Warsaw Salon). Next came full-fledged productions: Voci by Augustyn Bloch (1968) and Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten (1986). In 1989, she made a debut on the Warsaw opera house’s main stage as the costume designer for Andrzej Glegolski’s rendition of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. The last production she helped stage at the Teatr Wielki was Giordano’s Fedora in 1994, for which she designed costumes, too.
Andrzej Żuławski collaborated with the opera house in 1998, staging Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor. The rendition was ambiguous, unconventional, and triggered a plethora of emotions, often extreme ones – just as the director’s whole body of work. Both, Ms Zaniewska and Mr Żuławski exerted a real impact on the opera house’s forming identity, for which we remain truly grateful to them.