Mieczysław Weinberg’s opera in three acts, Portret (The Portrait), will have its Polish premiere on 6 December 2013, at Teatr Wielki (Grand Theatre) in Poznań.
Directed by David Pountney, the current adaptation of the original Portret (1980) previously premiered at London's Lowry Theatre and was very well received. U.K. based Opera North Production’s remake is now coming to its homeland at the Teatr Wielki stage, which has made significant historical contributions to shaping the image of opera in Poland, recently celebrating its 100th anniversary in the year 2010.
Inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s story of the same name (1835), Weinberg composed the opera to a libretto by Aleksander Miedwiediew. The first performance of Portret was held in 1983 at the National Theatre in Brno, Czech Republic. Independent on Sunday reviewed Opera North Production's U.K. adaptation of Portret as: “Musically subtle and tautly sung.”
Mieczysław Weinberg, also known as Wajnberg in Polish (1919-1996), was born in to a Jewish family in Warsaw. He lived and studied in Warsaw until his family moved to the Soviet Union at the outbreak of war in 1944. Music experts from the former Soviet Union considered Mieczysław Weinberg as one of the most interesting composers after his mentor, Dmitri Shostakovich. Apart from Alexandre Tansman and Andrzej Panufnik, Weinberg was one of the few Polish composers in exile, who managed to interest the most outstanding performers in his music. His compositions include several dozen symphonies, concerts, choral pieces, chamber pieces and movie scores. In terms of the opera, he is the author of as many as seven pieces – The Passenger (1968), composed 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!, and other pieces based on the works of Bernard Shaw, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Nikolai Gogol.
The upcoming Poznań premiere on 6 December, 19:00 is sung in Russian with Polish subtitles. The project is financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
More information on the event.
Edited by E.M., 03/12/2013