Arrow Opera about the legendary parricide Beatrix Cenci at the Polish National Opera

06 May, 2024
Opera about the legendary parricide Beatrix Cenci at the Polish National Opera
© Marta Kluczyńska in rehearsal / Polish National Opera

The last premiere lined up for the 2023-24 season at the Polish National Opera is concert performance of Ludomir Różycki’s rarely shown score “Beatrix Cenci”. The piece, written in 1925-1926, was staged for the first time on January 30, 1927 at the Teatr Wielki (Grand Theatre) in Warsaw.

The libretto, written by the composer’s wife Stefania, is based on Juliusz Słowacki’s tragedy. The story is intended for adult audience with strong nerves. Having survived a rape attempt, Beatrix kills her father and becomes a hostage of the witness to the crime Father Negri. The priest is secretly in love with her but Beatrix rejects his advances. Her mind is engrossed with a young painter Giani. Will their love have a happy ending?

On May 11, the soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of the Polish National Opera and the Artos Children’s Choir will be directed by the creative mind behind the project, Marta Kluczyńska. Magdalena Schabowska will play the title role. She will be accompanied by: Krzysztof Szumański, Karina Skrzeszewska, Szymon Mechliński, Łukasz Załęski, Adrian Janus and Remigiusz Łukomski.

“Beatrix Cenci” shares some similarities to the work of Giacomo Puccini, “Tosca” in particular. The analogies go beyond the setting of the last act (St Angel Castle) and include a plot structure based on comparable relationships between the trio of protagonists, which involve love, desire, and disgust.

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