An actor and son of the outstanding actor Marian Opania. He was born on December 6th, 1970.
An actor. his looks would have him cast as a lover-type, but he chooses a surprising variety of roles, refusing to be pigeonholed.
In 1994, he graduated from the acting department of the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Warsaw. "One of the most talented actors of the younger generation. He is not a socialite, and avoids publicity. His looks would have him cast as a lover-type, but he chooses a surprising variety of roles. He does not allow himself to be pigeonholed." (Janusz Wróblewski, "Zwierciadło", no. 8/2000)
While still a student, he began working for the Teatr Ateneum in Warsaw, where his father has also been since 1981. From the very beginning of his career, critics heralded him as the most important young talent since the appearance of Boguslaw Linda on the stage. During the first four years, he played in a dozen or so films, starting with smaller roles and progressing to leading roles, which were noticed by critics and reviewed. Jarek in 1968. Szczesliwego Nowego Jorku / Happy New York (1992), Beniamin in Białe małżeństwo / The White Marriage (1993), Bartek in Pora na czarownice / Time for Witches (1994), an episode in Pułkownik Kwiatkowski (1995) and in Cwał / At Full Gallop (1996) and Józef Andryszek I in Historia kina w Popielawach / The History of Cinema in Popielawy (1998).
For his later career, most important were his television roles. He played in so many that he was named the Young Prince of the Television Playhouse (Teatr Telewizji).
He captivated audiences for the first time as Arthur Rimbaud in Christopher Hampton's The Total Eclipse (Polish trans., Calkowite zacmienie) (1995). "He succeeded in convincing the audience that an artist must experience everything so that he knows what he himself is creating. He was decidedly more convincing as Rimbaud than Leonardo Di Caprio was in the film by Agnieszka Holland." (Anna Wiejowska, "A Better Di Caprio", "Gazeta Lubuska", 26 Sept 1998) "The freshness, ardour, sensitivity and consciousness of his own charm meant that the very young actor created a character who was not only enormously suggestive, but also unusually genuine - going beyond the convention, avoiding value judgments, but making it easier to understand the way in which remarkable artists are different, and their needs, reactions and internal tensions." (Maciej Dalczyński, "Antena", 29 Jan 1996)
These roles followed: Don Sancho in Pierre Corneille's Le Cid (Polish trans., Cyd) (1996), Lavalette in Donadieu by Fritz Hochwälder (1996), the title role in Savva, by Leonid Andreyev (1996), Eli in Julian Stryjkowski's Przybysz z Narbony / Man from Narbonne (1997) and Alvi in Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski's Portret Wenecki / The Venetian Potrait (1998). "Television Playhouse (Teatr Telewizji) gave me the opportunity to play in over thirty roles in a repertory chosen from among the best works of drama. Film at that time did not provide such an opportunity. I received quite a few propositions to do films. It seemed, however, that they are not for me-they do not give me the same satisfaction. And acting just for the sake of acting is not important for me at all. You can live without it." ("Rzeczpospolita", 12 Oct 2001)
At Ateneum he made his debut in the role of August Coverly in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia (1994). Then he was Carpet in Howard Baker's Scenes from an Execution (1995), Panicz w Korowodzie Arthura Schnitzlera (1997), Adas in Marek Koterski's Dom wariatow / Nuthouse (1998) and Thomas Harvey in Ronald Harwood's Taking Tea with Stalin (Polish trans., Herbatka u Stalina) (2000). His role as Zbyszko in Moralnosc Pani Dulskiej / Miss Dulska's Morals was described in more detail: "The show's shortcomings were compensated for by the extra effort of two actors. The role of Zbyszek, a fellow with deplorable manners from the outskirts of town (no surprise that Dulska spoiled him so!), took on an entirely character a new, previously unknown colour in Bartosz Opania's interpretation. This Zbyszko is like a character from Gorky's The Lower Depths." (Tomasz Moscicki, "Niech żyje kołtun", "Zycie", 2 April 1999)
In a guest appearance at Warsaw's Teatr na Woli, he also played the main character in the adaptation of Adventures of Tom Sawyer / Przygody Tomka Sawyera (1995), and at Teatr Narodowy, he played Edmund in the staging of Shakespeare's King Lear / Krol Lear (1998).
His role in the first Polish romantic comedy also brought him critical acclaim. In Piotr Weresniak's Zakochani / In Love (2000), he played "a very high-class lover, the super-handsome Mateusz, who, in addition to his ability to knock women over with his charm, also has one principle in life: women are there to be used, to have a good time, and then..." (HW-M, "Trafila kosa na kamien", "Dziennik Zachodni", 29 Jan 2000)
In 2001, two highly critically acclaimed films were released, in which Bartosz Opania played the main roles. In Jan Jakub Kolski's Daleko od Okna / Far from the Window, he played the protagonist, an unfulfilled artist, who loves two women during the war: his wife, with whom he cannot have a child, and the Jewish woman who is in hiding at their house, who bears him a daughter. Torn between these two women who are close to him, he cannot be with either, and cannot find his place in life.
Kolski's sensitivity, his way of looking at the world, are close to what I feel myself. I like his attention to details, his sensitivity to the truth. In cinema, not many people even pay attention to make-up, or to whether or not the character's collar is worn. And Kolski can check such details for hours. He puts the finishing touches on the costumes himself. He wants to breathe life into every take. ("Zwierciadło", no. 8/2000)
Another of his accomplishments is the role of Szymon in Michał Rosa's film, Cisza / Silence. Opania plays a young man who as a child had caused an accident as a child. The parents of a five-year-old girl died in the accident. His conscience, troubling him for twenty years, leads him to search for Magda; when he finds her, he influences her life deeply.
My character is a simple guy, a railroad man. He is obsessed with Mimi and falls in love with her. She is from an entirely different world, and he never believed that this love could become real. He acts instinctively. He does not assume that his life is better. I always have the same feeling toward every role I have, that it is not me, but the character I am playing. I am not trying to sell myself as characters. The biggest advantage of the acting profession is that you can give life to someone new. ("Świat bałamutny", "Rzeczpospolita", 30 Nov 2000)
In the following years, Opania still waited for a film role in which he could show his abilities. He gained popularity among the audience as doctor Latoszek in the popular TV series Na dobre i na złe / For better and for worse, but that didn't translate into film offers. Lately he only appeared in comedies Statyści / Extras (dir. Michał Kwieciński, 2006) and Wkręceni /Screwed (dir. Piotr Wereśniak, 2014).
On stage he appeared as Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment directed by Barbara Sass in Ateneum Theatre. The play was received quite coldly, despite Opania's successful efforts. Janusz R. Kowalczyk wrote:
One need to has some perseverance to find a bright spot in this conglomerate of forms and ideas. One of them is Bartosz opania in a great performance as Rodion Raskolnikov. This character also appears in badly planned moments, although it's not the fault of the actor, but of the director. (...) Opania's expression would only benefit, if he didn't have to use it for inappropriate acts of aggression, which seem contradictory to the concept of the protagonist in the original version ("Rzeczpospolita" nr 236, 09.10.2006).
Nikolai Kolada's Sling staged by Romuald Szejda in Prezentacje Theatre was better received. In a surprising, difficult role of the cripple Ilja, he contradicted his image of a handsome suitor. About working on this play he said:
The essence of acting is escaping routine. But we usually play ourselves in different versions. And we get cast in ways that are consistent with our physique, our image. It's rare to play something that would contradict them. But this is what happened in this play. ("Twój Styl" nr 4/2008).
He worked with the same director on Eric Assous's Dangerous Game in 2010. In 2015 he appeared in Lucinda Hoxon's "Happy now?" directed by Adam Sajnuk.
- 1997 - special recognition for his role as Eli in Julian Stryjkowski's Przybysz z Narbony / The Man from Narbonne for the Television Playhouse (Teatr Telewizji) in the National Competition for the Staging Contemporary Polish Plays
Updated by NMR, November 2016.