Wroclaw operastad i Polen
Wrocław /’vrɔʦwaf/ är en stad i Centraleuropa i västra Polen. Den ligger vid floden Oder och dess fyra bifloder. Staden är ett industri-, utbildnings- och kulturcentrum och har 632 996 invånare. Kommunen har en areal på 292,9 km².
The Opera in Wroclaw
The Opera in Wroclaw has a tradition dating back to the first half of 17th century. Since 1627 the operatic and theater Companies performed at the local Ballhaus (located by today’s Wita Stwosza Street) introducing the audience to the musical news. Years 1725 – 1734 seemed to be particularly important when the Italian operatic troupe, collaborating with theatres from Bologne and Venice and also with Antonio Vivaldi, was staying and working in Wroclaw. In 1727 the theater they were based at was given the status of City Teater. In 1755 a new theater (called Kalten Asche) was built by today’s Oławska and Piotra Skargi Street. The venue was in its prime at the end of 18th century when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s operas were staged here – Die Entfϋhrung aus dem Serail in 1787, Don Giovanni in 1792, Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan tutte and Magic Flute in 1795. In December 1795 the theater was officially named the Royal Theater in Wroclaw.
The assumption of the opera’s directorship 1804 – 1806 by the creator of German Romantic Opera, 18-years old Carl Maria von Weber, takes on a symbolic dimension. Many famous opera works were performed on Wroclaw Theater’s stage very shortly after their world premieres. The only Ludwig van Beethoven’s opera, Fidelio, was staged here as early as 1816; Il Barbiere di Seviglia by Gioacchino Rossini in 1821 and the same year (180 years ago), just couple of months after its first performance in Berlin – Weber’s Der Freischϋtz.
The year 1841 marks the inauguration of the theatre’s new classicist building designed by Carl Ferdinand Langhans. The building was equipped with extremely modern stage and the auditorium for as much as 1600 people. Apart from two breaks caused by the fire in 1865 and 1871 the Wrocław Opera conducted regular activity until 1944, achieving the position of a leading German stage. Its productions from 1852 – 1859 included Richard Wagner’s Tanhauser, Lohengrin, Rienzi and Tristan und Isolde, while after 1875 Wagner’s entire tetralogy was produced, with many repeat performances. The operas by Charles Genoud, Georges Bizet, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini and Richard Strauss were also very popular. It was significant that the German premiere of Modest Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov and world premiere of Ludomir Rozycki’s Eros and Psyche took place in Wrocław in 1917.
A lot of famous Polish and European artists performed on the stage of Wrocław Opera. Singers Antonina Miklaszewska-Campi, Marcelina Sembrich-Kochanska, Władysław Mierzwinski, Karolina Seidler-Wranitzky, Henriette Sontag, Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient, Jenny Lind, Desire Artot, Adelina Patti, Leo Slezak and Ludwig Barnay, conductors Carl Maria von Weber, Louis Spohr, Ferenc List, Hans von Bülow, Richard Wagner, Leopold Damrosch, Richard Strauss, Bruno Walter and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Great 19th century virtuosos like Niccolo Paganini, Clara Wieck, Karol Lipiński, Heinrich Ernst, Antoni Rubinstein, Ferenc List, Henri Vieuxtemps, Henryk Wieniawski and Apolinary Katski also gave the concerts in Wroclaw.
The postwar history of the Wroclaw Opera was inaugurated on 8th September 1945 with Stanislaw Moniuszko’s Halka. Since then nearly 260 premieres were staged, including 59 works by Polish composers from among 28 were the world premieres including such superb spectacles like Tadeusz Szeligowski’s Bunt żaków or Manekiny by Zbigniew Rudziński and 7 ones were created by local composers Jadwiga Szajna-Lewandowska, Ryszard Bukowski and Tadeusz Natanson. During the postwar history the Wrocław Opera had the periods of its glory, being considered one of the best musical theaters in Poland. This was always connected to the fact that many outstanding conductors, directors, choreographers, set designers, singers, dancers and musicians worked here. Thanks to the often premieres, daring musical and theatrical experiments and staging unfairly forgotten works by Polish and foreign artists the Wrocław Opera’s artistic activity was particularly essential for the cultural life of the city, the region and the country.
Contemporary profile of the Wroclaw Opera is created by the artists working under the guidance of general and artistic director Ewa Michnik. Current repertoire features mainly classical opera masterpieces of a wide historical and stylistic spectrum including works by Mozart (Magic flute, Cosi fan tutte, Marriage of Figaro), Rossini (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Verdi (Nabucco, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Aida, Falstaff), Musorgski (Boris Godunov), Bizet (Carmen), Offenbach (Hoffmann’s tales), Moniuszko (Haunted Manor, Halka), Puccini (La Boheme, Turandot), as well as ballet – Tschaikovsky (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker), Prokofiew (Cinderella, Romeo and Juliett) or Minkus (Don Quichote).
Since 2008 the Wroclaw Opera organizes the only in Poland Festival of Contemporary Opera, presenting such productions like King Roger and Hagith by Karol Szymanowski, Paradise lost by Krzysztof Penderecki, Ester by Prasqual, The Miracles of Mary by Bohuslav Martinu (coproduction with National Opera in Prague), Hanna Kulenty’s The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams or La liberta chiama la liberta by Eugeniusz Knapik.
The big novelty are the unconventional productions – steady and regular elements of the program of the Wroclaw Opera. Tosca – “The Spectacle of the Year 1998” is one of perfect examples. Each part of this open-air performance took place in a different scenery and different venue. Verdi’s Requiem, the staging referring to the medieval mysteries was shown in Maria Magdalene Church, La serva padrona by Pergolesi and Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirector were prepared in baroque Leopoldina Hall at Wroclaw University. Marriage of Figaro was performed among the cloisters of National Museum and Verdi’s Falstaff in a gym hall of Medical Academy.
Each season is crowned by the superproduction in the Centennial Hall (Hala Ludowa) or huge open air performance. These are the largest operatic performances in Poland, among gigantic decorations, with the participation of great European stars, hundreds of performers, supernumeraries and animals on stage – Verdi’s Aida in 1997 and 2003, Bizet’s Carmen in 1998 and 2005, Nabucco in 1999 and 2001, Il Trovatore in 2000 and 2003, Carmina Burana by Carl Orff in 2001 and 2002, The Haunted manor by Stanislaw Moniuszko in 2001 and 2002, Fiddler on the roof in 2002 and 2004, Ponchielli’s Gioconda and Wagner’s Das Rhinegold in 2003, Die Walküre in 2004, Siegfried in 2005, Götterdämmerung in 2006, whole Ring of Nibelungs in October 2006 and Boris Godunov in 2007.
In June 2007 at the Summer Festival on the Water, the Wroclaw Opera produced at Pergola L’elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti, next year Otello at the Sand Island and in 2010 Turandot at the Olimpic Stadium.
There are Ballet Mornings organized for the youngest audience on holidays and for school children there is a special educational program called The Magic Kingdom – an opera for children.
The Company of the Wrocław Opera is a regular guest on many stages in Germany, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Cyprus.