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The Warsaw Voice » Other » September 17, 2008
The Lower Silesia Voice
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Celebrating Moniuszko
September 17, 2008   
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Every year Polish opera lovers are treated to a musical feast when some of the world's best opera singers come to the southwestern resort of Kudowa Zdrój to perform at the Stanisław Moniuszko Festival in late August.

This year's 46th festival coincided with the 150th anniversary of the first ever performance of Moniuszko's Halka in Warsaw.

"We marked the occasion in the Pod Blach± Theater with Barbara Kubiak as Halka, Sylwester Kostecki as Jontek and Adam Szerszeń singing Janusz's part," said Sławomir Pietras, the festival's artistic director. "Before noon in the Zdrojowy Park we played historical recordings of different productions of Halka, directed by Jerzy Satanowski, Walerian Bierdiajew, Antoni Wicherek and Robert Satanowski."

As usual, the Tenors' Competition enjoyed a lot of interest. The packed hall of the Zdrojowy Theater resounded with the magnificent voices of Bartłomiej Szczeszek, Grzegorz Caban, Leszek ¦widziński, Marek Szymański, and Dmitri Fomenko, a young graduate of the Musical Academy in Donetsk. They were accompanied by the Sudecka Philharmonic Orchestra from Wałbrzych conducted by Dariusz Mikulski. Before noon, Moniuszko workshops were held, attracting a large number of listeners. They were hosted by Pietras, who confirmed his reputation as an excellent storyteller.

Jadwiga Rappe, an opera star who sings in a beautiful alto, gave a recital, and there was a ballet show entitled Polish Music Danced at Night. Students from the Musical Academy in Wrocław staged Wojciech Bogusławski's ballet Cracovians and Highlanders. There was also a traditional parade in historical costumes led by the city mayor and attended by city residents. The festival ended with Halka performed in the Zdrojowy Park by the soloists, choir and ballet of the Polish Chamber Opera, conducted by Kazimierz Wiencek and directed by Kazimierz Kowalski.

Barbara Deręgowska
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