The 2013/14 season is a true challenge, both for the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera’s companies and the Polish National Ballet and for audiences in Warsaw.
Our repertoire plans include four new opera productions: the Polish premiere and world premiere, respectively, of two contemporary works, a fundamental work by Wagner, the last opera of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and a gem of European modernism. This gives an idea of the magnitude of the challenges before us. We open the season with a new version of The Devils of Loudun by Krzysztof Penderecki, who has added 147 pages of music score without extending the work by even a minute. Staged in collaboration with the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, this production, which had its world premiere in February 2013, has been enthusiastically received by critics and audiences alike. I am extremely pleased that this particular work, conducted by Lionel Friend and directed by Keith Warner, will open a series of artistic events celebrating our great composer’s 80th birthday. The next premiere, also a co-production, this time with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, will be an evening featuring Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Béla Bartók s Bluebeard’s Castle. These operas, staged by the Mariusz Treliński and Boris Kudlička duo, will be conducted by Valery Gergiev.
For April 2014 we have planned the premiere of Wagner’s Lohengrin directed by Antony McDonald and conducted by Stefan Soltesz – the latest masterpiece by the great composer presented on our stage, after Die Fliegende Holländer and the ballet Tristan and Isolde.
The season will conclude with Moby Dick, the world premiere of Eugeniusz Knapik’s work commissioned by the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera. The musical director will be Gabriel Chmura and the production will be directed by Barbara Wysocka, who is familiar to our audiences for her highly acclaimed productions on the Chamber Hall.
The main stage will be the venue for two premieres by the Polish National Ballet: Romeo and Juliet to the music of Sergei Prokofiev and choreography by the PNB’s director, Krzysztof Pastor, conducted by Łukasz Borowicz, and Don Quixote to the music of Ludwig Minkus and choreography by Alexei Fadeyechev based on Marius Petipa. Both shows are excellent additions to our ballet company’s repertoire; I am deeply convinced that they will also find favour with Warsaw audiences, who always enjoy narrative ballet productions. On the Chamber Hall, the Polish National Ballet will present Hamlet choreographed by Jacek Tyski.
The Chamber Hall will also be the venue for the continuation of the ’P’ Project, including two world premieres of chamber operas commissioned by the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera: Sławomir Wojciechowski’s Zwycięstwo nad Słońcem (Victory over the Sun) and Marcin Stańczyk’s Solarize. A new element in our repertoire will be provided by Premiere Prelude, a series of chamber concerts to match consecutive opera premieres. Among our special events, I would particularly like to mention a joint concert by Polish stars of the world’s opera scene: Aleksandra Kurzak and Mariusz Kwiecień, and a guest performance by the magnificent London Symphony Orchestra with violinist Leonidas Kavakos, conducted by Daniel Harding.
There will be an extremely important place in the life of our theatre for what has become a permanent part of its space, namely the Opera Gallery; in the 2013/14 season we will present works by artists who define contemporary Polish art: Stanisław Fijałkowski, Jerzy Mierzejewski, and Jerzy Tchórzewski. The Opera Gallery is also where we will display the autographs of Krzysztof Penderecki. Another exhibition connected with the composer’s jubilee, organized in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków, will be on display in the Redutowe Rooms.
Preparing the 2013/14 season, we are very consistently implementing the fundamental ideas on which managing this institution is based: developing a repertoire of the highest standard, whose artistic value is unquestionable while any discourse is encouraged solely by the ideas behind it. I hope this will be an interesting season, made up of proposals that are not always easy but worthy without exception. They are inspiring, far from obvious, open to individual, very subjective reception, fascinating to every member of the audience in each person’s special way. I am confident that after browsing through our new repertoire, you will share my high hopes.
General Director of Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera