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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 1, 2018
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From MET to Warsaw
October 1, 2018   
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"Manru", the only stage work by Ignacy Paderewski, will premiere at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw on October 12. It was the only Polish opera staged at the Metropolitan Opera in New York more than 100 years ago. This was due to the unusual popularity enjoyed by the Polish pianist in America. However, after a short triumph, Manru fell into a long-term oblivion and did not appear on Polish stages. Teatr Wielki decided to break the silence and stage Paderewski’s opera, under the direction of Marek Weiss and the baton of Grzegorz Nowak.
Manru is the first musical drama in Polish operatic art. It is a moving story of unhappy love, but also of social differences and intolerance. The heroes pay a high price for transgressing customary borders and their love is exposed to hard tests.
At the musical level, Paderewski combined the idea of drama with the operatic principles of the genre. The work does not have an overture, the action of the act begins immediately after the orchestra's several-measure introduction. Following the example of Richard Wagner's dramas, the composer applied the theme motifs accompanying the figures to reflect their mood and emotions. Apart from the main themes, there are also motifs of highlander and Gypsy tunes.
The premiere of "Manru" took place in Königliches Opernhaus in Dresden on 29 May 1901, conducted by Ernest von Schuch and in the presence of the composer. The Warsaw premiere was held a few days later, and the American one in February 1902.
Manru will be shown in the original Polish language version with English subtitles.
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