22nd Summer Krakow Opera Festival
The Summer Festival of the Krakow Opera has a rich past and a long tradition, with its beginnings dating back to 1997. That year, a review of the current repertoire was done on the stage of the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre. With time, the festival has evolved, and prestigious concerts and outdoor performances have become its hallmark. This year, the 22nd edition of the Festival will take place from 2 June to 8 July. The Krakow Opera ensemble will meet with the audience in some of the most beautiful places in Krakow and all of Lesser Poland, as well as on the stage at ul. Lubicz 48. The Festival will take place under the patronage of the Marshal of the Krakow Province, Mr Jacek Krupa.
Among the most important elements of the Festival are the open-air events that include traditional gala evenings at the Arcade Courtyard of the Wawel Royal Castle. On 29 June, the world-renowned soprano Aleksandra Kurzak will perform in the concert "World Opera Arias". During the ballet gala “Grand pas...!” (27 June), which is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, we will see performances from soloists of international ballet companies: Poland (Krakow, Poznan, and Wroclaw), France, Italy, and Russia. Spectacle will abound, as the Wawel Castle will be the stage for S. Moniuszko’s "The Haunted Manor" (23 and 25 June), directed by Laco Adamik. The title was chosen in honour of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining independence. In addition to open-air events in Krakow, the Opera will also invite audiences to visit Niepołomice, Nowy Wiśnicz, and Miechów. After last year's well-received show of G. Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love" on the Lanckorona market square, this title will be staged in Niepołomice (at the Hippodrome, 17 and 18 June). On 9 June, Nowy Wiśnicz will be the spot of the "Evening at the Castle" concert, and on 8 July Miechów will be able to hear the concert "Sing it with me".
The Festival will mark a new event in the project "Song — The Theatre of the Word", whose originator and artistic director is Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha, a soloist of the Krakow Opera. The project's idea is to combine music and poetry. The new event of the series, introduced as part of the Summer Festival, is a children's play (aimed at 6-10-year-olds) entitled "Mr Tralaliński" (3, 5, and 6 June).
The Summer Festival also includes performances on the stage at Lubicz 48. These include G. Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" (2 and 3 June) — one of the composer's best-liked titles. The staging, directed by Jerzy Stuhr, has been immensely popular ever since its premiere in December 2016, and has been named Krakow's top theatre event. The singers include: Grzegorz Szostak, Stanisław Kuflyuk, Andrzej Lampert, Paula Maciołek, Jerzy Stuhr, and Andrzej Biegun. They will be accompanied by the Choir, Ballet and Orchestra of the Krakow Opera, conducted by Tomasz Tokarczyk. The Krakow Opera will also present K. Szymanowski's "King Roger", directed by Michał Znaniecki (8 June). Through planting the performance in a contemporary setting, the director underlined the human dimensions of Szymanowski's work. As Jacek Marczyński wrote in "Rzeczpospolita", "what we see in Krakow is a cosy, intimate but nonetheless a very moving, family drama". The performers include: Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha, Monika Korybalska, Stanisław Kuflyuk, Adam Sobierajski, Jacek Ozimkowski, Łukasz Gaj (in his debut), and the Choir, Children's Choir, Ballet, and Orchestra of the Krakow Opera under the direction of Monika Wolińska. The play will also be performed on 15 June at the prestigious Eurokontext.sk Festival in Bratislava. On 6 and 7 July, the Krakow stage will be the spot of the musical and ballet performance of C. Orff's "Carmina Burana" — a globally-renowned work centred on the celebration of life and affirmation of the world. The performance was prepared by the music director of the Krakow Opera, Tomasz Tokarczyk, and choreographer Emil Wesołowski. The performers will include the Krakow Opera Ballet, the Opera Choir, as well as the Children's Choir and Orchestra of the Krakow Opera conducted by Tomasz Tokarczyk, and the singers: Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha, Ewelina Szybilska, Mariusz Godlewski, and Adam Sobierajski.