Arrow End of season premieres: „Carmen” in Gdańsk, „Don Giovanni” in Bytom and „Manon Lescaut” in Poznań

02 Jun, 2024
End of season premieres: „Carmen” in Gdańsk, „Don Giovanni” in Bytom and „Manon Lescaut” in Poznań
© Baltic Opera in Gdańsk

The Baltic Opera in Gdańsk shows Paweł Szkotak’s staging of “Carmen” by Georges Bizet. The show opens on Friday, June 7, with more performances following on June 8, 9, 11 and 14. The music director is Yaroslav Shemet, and the cast features: Joanna Motulewicz and Katarzyna Nowosad in the title role, Arnold Rutkowski and Rafał Bartmiński as Don José, and Tomasz Rak and Viktor Yankovskyi as Escamillo.

Always arousing great interest among the audience, “Carmen” is one of the most popular scores of all time. The libretto telling the story of a character that defies unequivocal moral assessment is open to alternate interpretations. Paweł Szkotak sets the plot in Spain – in line with the original, he but changes the time of events. Carmen’s story unfolds against the background of the civil war of the 1930s, as a result of which General Franco came to power. The concept is reflected in the setting created by Damian Styrna and costumes designed Sylwester Krupiński.

End of season premieres: „Carmen” in Gdańsk, „Don Giovanni” in Bytom and „Manon Lescaut” in Poznań
© Silesian Opera in Bytom

The opera hit “Don Giovanni” (produced on the occasion of the 770th anniversary of the city of Bytom) premieres on June 8 at the Silesian Opera. It will be shown again on June 9, 13, 14, 15 and 16. The Bytom theater thus revisits Mozart’s masterpiece for the third time. It was first presented in March 1965. The second staging, directed by Wiesław Ochman, was shown on May 29, 1999. The set was designed by Jerzy Duda Gracz. The upcoming production is directed by Michał Znaniecki and features Tomasz Tokarczyk on the podium. The cast includes: Robert Gierlach, Stanislav Kuflyuk, Kamil Zdebel (Don Giovanni), Bartosz Urbanowicz, Zbigniew Wunsch (Leporello), Aleksandra Orłowska, Anna Wiśniewska-Schoppa (Donna Elvira), Kamila Dutkowska, Joanna Kędzior, Ewa Tracz (Donna Anna) , Marta Huptas, Monika Korybalska (Zerlina), Adrian Domarecki, Andrzej Lampert, Adam Sobierajski (Don Ottavio), Bartłomiej Kłos, Michał Goławski (Masetto) and Bogdan Kurowski, Wołodymyr Pańkiv, Grzegorz Szostak (Komandor).

The story of the fearless conqueror of women’s hearts, Don Giovanni, a seducer and a cynic, is a universal tale about human passions, unbridled lust and the punishment that befalls the main character. The adventures of the nobleman from Andalusia, famous for his love conquests, were adapted for theater as early as 1618. However, it was Mozart, with the help of librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, who immortalized Don Giovanni in the performing canon.

End of season premieres: „Carmen” in Gdańsk, „Don Giovanni” in Bytom and „Manon Lescaut” in Poznań
© Stanisław Moniuszko's Grand Theatre in Poznań

The Grand Theater in Poznań rounds off the current season with Giacomo Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut,” directed by the British creative Gerard Jones. Iwona Sobotka and Lana Kos sing the title role, while Dominik Sutowicz and Max Jota perform the Chevalier Des Grieux. The music director is Marco Guidarini. The show opens on June 8, with subsequent performances on June 9, 12 and 13.

“Manon Lescaut” balances between lack and excess. As many as seven people worked on the libretto: Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Giuseppe Giacosa, Domenico Oliva, Luigi Illica, the composer himself – Giacomo Puccini, and his publisher – Giulio Ricordi. The beautiful Manon is torn between love and luxury, she quickly loses whatever she possesses. Flowing in abundance, she feels suffocated by it and longs for her poor lover. When she is about to leave with him, she cannot part with her jewels. Manon’s desire leads her from the life of excess to a place where she has nothing – a desert in which she dies of thirst.

The opening night performance will be streamed on OperaVision on June 8. It will be available until December 8, 2024.