The opera HALKA by Stanislaw Moniuszko (1819-1872), with a libretto by Wlodzimierz Wolski (1824-1882), a young poet with radical social views who was a member of the Warsaw boheme, is part of the canon of Polish national operas. Since its world premiere in 1854, it has celebrated triumph after triumph on operatic stages in Poland and abroad. HALKA has been staged in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Turkey, Russia and Cuba. The music in HALKA is unusually melodic, deeply lyrical and truly Polish in character. It includes moving poetic arias like "Gdybym rannym slonkiem" / "If by the Morning Sun" and "Szumia jodly" / "Sighing Firs," wonderful scenes depicting the life of the Polish gentry and highlanders, as well as spectacular dance sequences. The story is that of the tragic love of the title character, the highlander girl Halka, for the noble Janusz, who abandons her to wed the daughter of the Esquire. It is a tale of jealousy and sacrifice. The scenery for this outdoor production of HALKA will be Twardowski's Cliffs, an uncommonly picturesque site just outside of Krakow that features excellent views of Wawel Castle, Skalka Church and a bend in the Vistula River. The opera will be staged in an area surrounded by high limestone cliffs that provide good acoustic conditions. The seating area is capable of accommodating audiences of 1300 to 1500 people per performance.

This spectacular production will feature some of the newest in stage devices and involve almost 300 artists and extras. It was staged and directed by Krzysztof Jasinski, with musical direction by Wojciech Michniewski, choreography by Emil Wesolowski, stage movement devised by Anatol Kocydlowski, scenery designed by Piotr Sobanski, and costumes by Magda Teslawska and Pawel Grabarczyk. The Ballet and Orchestra of the Krakow Opera will accompany a drove of outstanding soloists, including Ewa Biegas and Maria Mitrosz alternating in the title role, Maciej Komander and Tomasz Kuk as Jontek, Przemyslaw Firek and Janusz Borowicz as the Esquire, Andrzej Biegun and Andrzej Szkurhan as Janusz, and Edyta Piasecka and Joanna Tylkowska as Zofia.

OPERA IN KRAKOW
Opera i Operetka w Krakowie
Director: Bogusław Nowak
ul. Dietla 50, 31-039 Krakow
tel. (+48 12) 422 62 10
fax (+48 12) 422 08 79
www.opera.krakow.pl