New Opera House in Krakow
The grand opening
Six trapdoors, a few stage wings, a computer-controlled acoustic ceiling, and a moveable orchestra pit… Krakow now has a great new opera house and theatre complex than ranks with the best in Europe.
After many years of strenuous efforts, Krakow can at last start the final countdown. The long-awaited opening of the Krakow Opera, scheduled for the 13th of December, promises to be a cause for great celebration. Krakow composer Krzysztof Penderecki's "The Devils of Loudon", directed by Laco Adamik, will be inaugurating the new stage at 48 Lubicz Street. This is one opera guaranteed to test the capabilities of modern opera to the utmost. The modernistic building, already a fixture on the cityscape of Krakow, was designed by Krakow architect Romuald Loegler and his associates Piotr Urbanowicz and Grzegorz Dresler. Construction began in 2004. The claret-coloured walls of the opera house, the largest structure of the complex, with the Great Stage inside, are imposing to say the least. The grey building with its semicircular roof is uncannily reminiscent of the old Krakow Operetta, thereby keeping alive the memories of local opera lovers. This historical building, which served as a horse riding school at the beginning of the twentieth century, has been incorporated into the modern Opera House in an especially creative way. The building contains the main entrance to the opera and ticket offices, and its upper floor holds the "Na Antresoli" Stage as well as a foyer used as an Exhibition and Lecture Hall. Connoisseurs of fine food will be delighted to learn that there will also be a restaurant on the floor. Besides the 700-seat Great Stage, which covers an area of 300m2, the new building boasts a 200-seat stage known as "Na Antresoli" and a "Chamber Stage", The ultramodern backstage equipment makes it possible to put on the most innovative performances.
Words, emotions, feelings, being moved, pride? … How can one express what we feel opening the new building of the Opera in Kraków? Long time our team has wandered around Kraków, looking for its place on earth, at the same time convincing people that opera, both as a genre and as an institution, deserves "something more". We have forged rare evidence of appreciation of subsequent rulers of Kraków culture with our own talent and determination. Our meetings with the audience prove that somebody needs us, that our art proposals are not unimportant to those who just as we, here in Kraków, find their piece of sky. We have experienced similar reactions from visitors who have come to the city of the Wawel castle in search for impressions and, apart from visits in museums, pubs, the Market Square or the Kazimierz district, have found rare evidence of our existence. Existence of the favorite opera theatre. For many years we have had to explain to ourselves and others why we do not have a roof over our heads? In Kraków? At the turn of centuries? In a centuries-old, proud city of the kings and Noble prize winners. In the shade of the world renowned pearls of the Gothic, the Baroque and the Renaissance? These questions and the emotions they embody have accompanied us a number of times.
Eventually, December 2008 has come. Preceded by autumn 2002, when, in the Administration of the Małopolska Province, headed by Marek Nawara, we met not only listeners, but also interlocutors, and, ultimately, decision-makers. Almost six years have elapsed. For some - as many as six. For others - only six. We can finally invite you to our home. First of all those who for these years have helped us survive – our audience, faithful partners of our past wandering and our success. Making allowances for our stumbles.
Around the same church towers, but different streetcars, cars, beautifully improved Mogilskie Roundabout and NEW OPERA HOUSE – OUR KRAKOW OPERA HOUSE. Thank you. We are.Bogusław Nowak