Szczęśniak, Orliński, Przybylski & Moniuszko Nominated for the ‘Oscars of Opera’
default, Szczęśniak, Orliński, Przybylski & Moniuszko Nominated for the ‘Oscars of Opera’, Jakub Józef Orliński in 'Agrippa', the Julliard School, Wilson Theatre, USA, photo: Hiroyuki Ito / Getty Images, center, jakub_jozef_orlinski_gettyimages_7.jpg
Małgorzata Szczęśniak, Dariusz Przybylski, Jakub Józef Orliński and two operas by Stanisław Moniuszko have been nominated for the prestigious International Opera Awards, known as the Oscars of the opera world.
The International Opera Awards prize is awarded by Opera Magazine, which has been covering opera on an international scale since 1950. The prizes include almost 20 categories – directors, conductors, singers, opera houses as well as recordings all receive awards. John Allison, editor-in-chief of Opera Magazine, leads the jury. The awards ceremony will take place on 4th May 2020 at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London.
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Małgorzata Szczęśniak, a longtime collaborator of Krzysztof Warlikowski, has been nominated in the Designer category. She and Warlikowski have worked together since the 1990s at the Grand Theatre – National Opera as well as at multiple European theatres, including the Parisian Opéra Garnier, Bavarian State Opera in München, La Monnaie in Brussels and Opéra Bastille. In July 2013, at Nowy Theatre in Warsaw, architect Aleksandra Wasilkowska prepared the exhibition Pojawia Się i Znika: Architektura Scenografii Małgorzaty Szczęśniak (Appearing and Disappearing: Małgorzata Szcześniak’s Scene Designs), a collection of works from the artist – sketches of concepts, scenery design fragments, and costumes. That same year, Szczęsniak became the regular designer for Nowy Theatre.
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Nominated in the Newcomer category is Dariusz Przybylski, a composer, organist and teacher. He wrote the Juliusz Słowacki-inspired opera-mystery Anhelli, which premiered December 2019 at the Grand Theatre in Poznań and was directed by Margo Zālīte. The overriding motif of the piece was snow: the entire cast was dressed in white, the same of which was requested of the audience. Przybylski’s opera linked classical music traditions with references to contemporary music. Anhelli is not the composer’s operatic debut; he has written five chamber symphonies, two operas and one nano-opera for children.
A Musical Alphabet of 2019
Jakub Józef Orliński’s album Facce d’Amore has been nominated in the Recording (Solo Recital) category. The Telegraph listed the breakdancing countertenor as one of 2019’s most enchanting operatic performers, and that same year he received awards from German Opus Klassik as well as the title of Young Artist of the Year from The Gramophone. His newest album is dedicated to operatic arias that showcase a young lover from the Baroque period – not just showing ecstasy and happiness, but anger and madness as well. Before Orliński’s recordings, many of these songs did not have a recorded version – the album contains eight digital premieres.
Orliński Wins Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award
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Stanisław Moniuszko, photo: Biblioteka Narodowa / Polona.pl
the international opera awards
Stanisław Moniuszko’s work has been nominated in two categories. An Italian-language recording of his opera Halka has received a nomination for Recording (Complete Opera). This version was recorded using historical instruments by Europea Galante, under conductor Fabio Biondi, as well as the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir under Violetta Bielecka’s direction. This is the first recording of Moniuszko’s work using instruments from his time period.
At the Grand Theatre in Poznań, Moniuszko’s Paria also received a nomination in the Rediscovered Work category. In 2019, on the occasion of Moniuszko’s 200th birthday, Poland celebrated the Year of Stanisław Moniuszko.
This is not the first time The International Opera Awards have recognised Polish operatic output. In 2019, winners included Krzysztof Warlikowski for The House of the Dead at the Royal Opera House in London and Waldemar Dąbrowski, director of the Great Theatre – National Opera. Earlier winners also include Piotr Beczała, Mariusz Treliński as well as Władysław Żeleński’s opera Goplana in the category Rediscovered Work.
Originally written in Polish, translated by Alicja Zapalska, Feb 2020
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