Andrzej Czajkowski’s THE MERCHANT OF VENICE in Poland

Sun 6:00pm October 26, 2014

Moniuszko Auditorium

The Grand Theatre – National Opera in Warsaw, Plac Teatralny 1, Warszawa, POLAND


Opera in three acts
Libretto: John O’Brien after William Shakespeare’s play

World premiere: Bregenzer Festspiele, Austria, 18/07/2013
Polish premiere: 24/10/2014
In the original English with Polish surtitles

Conductor: Lionel Friend
Director: Keith Warner
Set and Costume Designer: Ashley Martin-Davis
Choreography: Michael Barry
Lighting Designer: Davy Cunningham
Chorus Master: Bogdan Gola
Chorus Master of the children’s choir: Danuta Chmurska

Chorus and Orchestra of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera,
Władysław Skoraczewski “Artos” Children’s Choir, extras

Co-production: Bregenzer Festspiele
Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw

Poster designed by Adam Żebrowski


Jessica – Marisol Montalvo
Portia – Sarah Castle
Nerissa – Verena Gunz
Antonio – Christopher Robson
Bassanio – Charles Workman
Shylock – Lester Lynch
Lorenzo – Jason Bridges
Salerio – Adrian Clarke
Solanio – Rafał Pawnuk
Gratiano – Philip Smith
Duke of Venice – Dariusz Machej
Boy – Katarzyna Trylnik
Duke of Marocco – Gregory Lockett
Duke of Arragon/Freud – Juliusz Kubiak

His appearance in the piano firmament almost 60 years ago was compared with the exploding stardom of Glenn Gould. Claiming that the globe had at least 150 virtuosos better than him and only a few better composers, André Tchaikowsky was wrong in one thing: that such a numerous group played the piano better than he did. The score of The Merchant of Venice was written with an awareness of the existence of many musical languages. Probably the most important among them was Alban Berg’s style, but one can also sense an affinity with the sound world of Aribert Reimann’s operas. The Merchant of Venice delights with its brilliant musical dramaturgy and its characters; written in all seriousness, it can also surprise with a musical joke – for instance in the famous Shakespearian scene of choosing a bride which includes an ironic quotation of the fate motif from Tchaikovsky’s (Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s!) Symphony No. 4. The world premiere of The Merchant, delayed by over 30 years, directed brilliantly by Keith Warner (the pr sent show is a co-production with the Bregenz Festival), received the prestigious International Opera Award in April 2014. One could feel totally pleased about this if not for the fact that the projects defeated by Tchaikowsky included Paweł Szymański’s Qudsja Zaher staged by the Polish National Opera in 2013.

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