Weinberg’s THE PORTRAIT in Warsaw

polandlogoFri 7:00pm January 16, 2015
Moniuszko Auditorium

THE PORTRAIT – THE POZNAŃ OPERA THEATRE

portraitPosterMIECZYSŁAW WEINBERG

Opera in three acts
Libretto by Alexander Medvedev based on Nikolai Gogol’s short story
Sung in Russian with Polish surtitles
Co-production with the Opera North Production, U.K.
Polish premiere: 6/12/2013

Duration: 2 hrs 40 min., including one intermission

Artistic Team:

Conductor: Gabriel Chmura
Direction: David Pountney
Set Designer: Dan Potra
Lighting Designer: Linus Fellbom
Revival: Anelia Kadieva

p1Cast:

Czartkov – Jacek Laszczkowski
Nikita – Jaromir Trafankowski
Art Dealer / Landlady / Journalist / Professor / Earl
– Stanisław Kuflyuk
Lamplighter / Nobleman – Piotr Friebe
District Chief / General / Dignitary – Rafał Korpik
Female Seller / Lady-in-Writing – Monika Mych-Nowicka
Ist Seller / Ist Waiter / Turk – Marek Szymański
IInd Seller – Karol Bochański
IInd Waiter / Cavalry Officer – Kornel Maciejowski
IIIrd Seller / Dignitary – Andrzej Ogórkiewicz
Noble Woman – Olga Maroszek
Lisa – Galina Kuklina
Psyche – Maria Marcinkiewicz-Górna
Blind Flautist – Sebastian Łukaszewski

Orchestra of Poznań Opera Theatre

The project is financed from a designated subsidy of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

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According to many experts of new music in the Soviet Union, after Sergei Prokofiev’s death, it was Mieczysław Weinberg who could be considered the most interesting composer after Dmitri Shostakovich. Apart from Alexandre Tansman and Andrzej Panufnik, Weinberg was one of the few Polish composers who, living in exile, managed to interest the most outstanding performers in his music. His compositions include several dozen symphonies, concerts, choral pieces, chamber pieces and movie scores (including for The Cranes Are Flying). In terms of the opera, he is the author of as many as seven pieces – The Passenger, to the libretto based on a short story by Zofia Posmysz, D’Artagnan in love with the libretto drawing on Alexandre Dumas’ novel, Well done! with the text inspired by a short story by Sholem Aleichem, and other pieces based on the works of Bernard Shaw, Fyodor Dostoyevsky or Nikolai Gogol.p4
It was actually Nikolai Gogol who wrote the story that inspired the libretto to The Portrait. The first performance of this opera was held in 1983 at the National Theatre in Brno. Other adaptations had not been attempted before the Bregenzer Festspiele (2010) directed by John Fulljames and the performances at the Nancy Opera and the North Theatre in Leeds directed by David Pountney – the same director who will now present his take on The Portrait in Poznań.

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Musically, Opera North’s Weinberg revival is subtle and tautly sung. Independent on Sunday

Gripping, sometimes frustrating but enthralling and, all in all, required viewing. Classical Source

David Pountney’s stimulating production was nothing less than an eye-opener. The York Press

Opera North have done Weinberg proud. Opera Britannia

Photo: Katarzyna Zalewska
Poster for the production designed by Ryszard Kaja

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