The Passenger Premieres at the Bregenzer Festspiele

Photo from the the rehearsal of "The Passager", photo: Karl Forster

This year's Bregenzer Festpiele honours the Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg and presents the world premiere of The Passenger, Weinberg's first opera, based on the moving novel by Zofia Posmysz of the same title

Zofia Posmysz's Passenger (Pasażerka) is the first instance in fine literature of an attempt to reflect concentration camp realities and the Holocaust from the point of view of the perpetrators. Mieczysław Weinberg's opera, based on this work, is the only one in the world dedicated to the Holocaust, written by composer of the "war" generation. The opera has been previously shown only in its concert version in Moscow in 2006.

The action takes place on a transatlantic vessel sailing from Europe to South America at the end of the 1950s, and partly in a concentration camp between 1943-1944. One of the passengers on the ship is Liza, the wife of a German diplomat who's sailing to his new post in Brazil. It turns out that Liza was once an SS guard at Auschwitz. To her shock, one of the passengers resembles Marta, a Polish prisoner at the concentration camp whom she had once attempted to befriend.


 



The Passenger in Bregenz is directed by David Pountney, the artistic director of the Festival. The show features three Polish singers: Artur Ruciński, Agnieszka Rehlis and Elżbieta Wróblewska. The soloists will be accompanied by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Prague Philharmonic Choir.

A number of other activities will be organised around Mieczysław Weinberg's work and his person during the opera festival in Bregenz, including an academic symposium, a concert series and a biographical exhibition entitled Passenger. Broadcast, Film, Story, Opera, which presents the story of the Passenger as a radio broadcast, televised drama, film, literature and, finally, an opera, along with the presentation of certain real-life archetypes of the story's fictional characters. The exhibition will last through the end of the festival (August 22). It will then travel to Warsaw, where the Polish premiere of Weinberg's Passenger is planned at the Grand Theatre - National Opera on October 8.

This year's presentation of Mieczysław Weinberg's opera at the opera festival in Bregenz is the fruit of last year's installation dedicted to Karol Szymanowski and his opera King Roger. In 2012, subsequent premieres of Passenger are planned in London, Madrid, Berlin and New York.

The opera's production is a joint undertaking of the Bregenzer Festspiele and the Grand Theatre - National Opera in Warsaw, while the coordinator of the exhibition Passenger. Broadcast, Film, Story, Opera is the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw.

For more information, see: www.bregenzerfestspiele.com

 

Rate:
(3 votes)
Skull Chapel, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, photo: Waldemar Sosnowski / Forum

Halloween is not a native tradition in Eastern Europe, and has not caught on in recent years. However, Polish folklore is rife with supernatural beings.

Celebrity chefs, pastry makers, farmers and butchers, culinary careers are undergoing a revolution.

Zaduszki candle, photo: Forum Agency

One of the most important family holidays in Poland, Zaduszki sees people all over the country gather to visit the graves of their loved ones. All throughout...

The Polin Museum is located in the Muranów district, an area which was before WW2 the heart of Jewish Warsaw

The Polin Museum located in what was once the heart of the Jewish Warsaw presents a thousand year history of Polish Jews. Learn more about the location,...

Polish poster for Roman Polański's "Rosemary's Baby", source: Museum of Cinematography in Łódź

There is a dark side to the Polish soul. This top 10 iconic spine-chilling soundtracks shows without a doubt that Poland's composers are undisputed masters of...

  •  
  • 1 of 500

Music and theatre from Poland are presented at Edinburgh's two major record-beating festivals. Scotland hosts showings of Song of the Goat Theatre's Return to...

Katarzyna Klimkiewicz and Dominga Sotomayor were awarded as the best international directors of the 11th Femina Women's Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro.

First held in 2001, the "Sinfonia Varsovia Swojemu Miastu" Festival has since enjoyed a growing popularity, over 5,000 listeners attending its fifth, 2005...

Museum Palace in Wilanów

The book cover; photo: materials of the publisher

Michał Witkowski's "Lovetown" (Polish title "Lubiewo"), published early this year in Great Britain, has received critical praise in recent issues of "The...

  •  
  • 1 of 247

The culinary tastes of the generations born in the PPR (the Polish People’s Republic) were shaped mostly by canteen food and home cooking, which was based on...

Throughout centuries, Poland has been populated by very diverse ethnicities and linguistic groups, all of which have left a mark. Here's a look at some of the...

Andrzej Wajda during a rehearsal of "The Possessed" according to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1971, Teatr Stary in Krakow, photo: Wojciech Plewiński / Forum

Forty years since it irreversibly altered the Polish theatre scene, Wajda's adaptation of Dostoyevsky's "The Possesed" resurfaces on the small screen. "The...

Culture.pl presents a guide of a phantom city - a Warsaw that no longer exists.

Plac Zbawiciela / Saviour Square, photo: Grzegorz Czaplicki

Forget the Old Town and the National Museum. Here are directions to the hotspots of counter-culture where you will encounter the laid-back yet edgy lifestyle...

  •  
  • 1 of 500