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Rigoletto, Verdi
D: Gilbert Deflo
C: Andriy Yurkevych
"Rigoletto" in Warsaw – a dazzling classic

On 20 January, at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, for the 68th time, a poster featured a production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Rigoletta" directed by Gilbert Deflo, which is over twenty years old. The performance is modeled on the production of La Scala, which premiered in 1995, which means that the costumes and set design are a copy of those from the Milanese performance, adapted to the size of the stage of the Polish National Opera. "Rigoletto" Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, photo: Krzysztof Bieliński During the twenty years of "Rigoletta's presence" on the Warsaw stage, the cast has seen a whole galaxy of stars, ranging from Andrzej Dobber, Agnieszka Zwierko and Artur Ruciński, to guest performances by Piotr Beczała and Aleksandra Kurzak, which electrified the Warsaw audience. Today, alongside well-known singers, the rising stars of Polish vocalism debut, bringing youth and a breath of freshness to this patina-covered realization. "Rigoletto" Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, photo: Krzysztof Bieliński Warsaw's "Rigoletto" is aging with class. Monumental, decorative decorations, the change of which is so complicated that a dozen or so minutes after the start of the performance, one of as many as three twenty-minute breaks is needed, are made with reverence and attention to detail. The sumptuous palace of the Duke of Mantua, elaborate costumes referring to historical costumes from the era allow you to plunge into the magical world of theater that many viewers yearn for today. While the modernized regietheater productions are becoming a thing of the past after only a few or a dozen performances, classic productions such as "Rigoletto" or "Nabucco" have been attracting crowds thirsty for a faithful libretto, a scenographically rich performance, for years. "Rigoletto" Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, photo: Krzysztof Bieliński The attraction of this year's series of performances was also a cast consisting of proven singers who have been performing their roles for years and young adepts of the profession, who managed to create memorable vocal and acting creations. Andrzej Dobber was, as always, excellent – especially in the scene of begging for his daughter's devotion, and Aleksandra Kubas-Kruk captivated with a beautiful, shiny, lyrical timbre of voice and fervor of interpretation. Tadeusz Szlenkier confirmed his position as one of the leading Polish tenors, and his noble-sounding voice captivated in the famous aria of the Duke of Mantua La donna è mobile. "Rigoletto" Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, photo: Krzysztof Bieliński Iurie Maimescu, a native of Moldova, cursed with the right power, and Łukasz Konieczny in the role of Sparafucil fantastically conveyed the character of a paid murderer. A lot of good can also be said about Anna Bernacka and Elżbieta Wróblewska, who perform as Maddalena and Giovanna. Particular praise was deserved by young singers performing in supporting roles, but attracting the viewer's attention with their vocal skills and stage freedom. Currently studying at the prestigious Juilliard School and winning further awards in vocal competitions, Hubert Zapiór (Marullo) is a very talented baritone, who is additionally helped by acting skills gained at the Warsaw Theatre Academy. As Countess Ceprano, Bożena Bujnicka delighted with her beauty and voice, whom earlier this season I could admire in "Orpheus and Eurydice" in Lublin, and in the role of the count he became known as a very promising young bass Jasin Rammal-Rykała. "Rigoletto" Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, photo: Krzysztof Bieliński Patrick Fournillier is a conductor who works very well with singers and the performance under his baton could satisfy the most demanding opera lovers musically.

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22 January 2019operalovers.plMAGDALENA GRZYBOWSKA
Yevgeny Onegin, Tchaikovsky, P. I.
D: Mariusz Treliński
C: Keri-Lynn Wilson
What Could Have Been: Yevgeny Onegin at the Teatr Wielki – Opera Narodowa

In the letter scene of Yevgeny Onegin, Tatyana asks ‘who are you? My guardian angel or a wily tempter?’. This line appears to be a starting point for Mariusz Treliński’s 2002 staging of the work, revived tonight at Warsaw’s Teatr Wielki – Opera Narodowa. Our first image of the evening is a ghoulish figure, perambulating around the apron at the front of the stage. He reappears frequently, interacting with Tatyana during the letter scene or at other times being sighted at the back of the stage. Later, he appears mourning Lensky after the duel or dancing briefly with Tatyana during her name day party. This idea of reflection on younger days is a most pertinent one and feels true to a vision of the work founded on the reflection that comes with loss and those ever-present questions of what might have been. Treliński puts a lot of the weight of the show on the shoulders of his singers, particularly in the first few scenes. His stage pictures at the Larin estate are sparse, a claustrophobic environment where there’s limited interaction with outsiders – the sparseness goes as far as cutting the opening peasants’ chorus. It did feel to an extent that the evening took a while to take wing. Anna Nechaeva’s letter scene was beautifully vocalized, but felt somewhat anonymous dramatically and interpretatively, perhaps as a result of her focusing on interaction with the ghostly figure; partly also due to Andriy Yurkevych’s rather earthbound conducting. Where the evening really started to take wing was in Tatyana’s name day party. Treliński set up a visually fascinating scene that seemed to hover between the real and the imagined. Was Krzysztof Szmyt’s foppish Triquet with his flying fairy sidekick real? Were the dancers with deer heads? Or were they just a figment of Tatyana’s imagination? Similarly, the rigid succession of figures who walked through the polonaise – were they a succession of Onegin’s former lovers or figures of a society that thrived on conformity. While Treliński might not give us all the answers, he certainly provokes reflection, as well as giving us much to reflect upon. The other reason the evening seemed to take wing after the name day celebrations was due to Andrzej Lampert’s electrifying Lensky. He appeared to single-handedly change the direction of the evening. His ‘kuda, kuda?’ was mesmerizing, sung with precisely the sense of wistfulness and longing it requires. His tenor is in fine shape, robust and easily produced, always sung off the text. He held the stage, producing a spell so enchanting that when he received his well-deserved ovation at the end of his aria, it felt that something magical had been broken. Anna Nechaeva is the owner of a striking soprano of good weight and an exciting metallic edge. The sound itself is fabulous at full volume, filling the house in thrilling waves of ecstatic sound, particularly in a final scene, sung from the stage-front apron, that soared gloriously. At the same time, I must admit that I left with the impression that Nechaeva isn’t quite ‘finished’ as an interpreter, the letter scene, in particular, somewhat anonymous. The voice also has a tendency to sit slightly under the note. It is, without doubt, a splendid instrument but not quite the finished article. Stanisław Kuflyuk replaced the originally-cast Mariusz Kwiecień in the title role. He seemed very much at home in this staging, his slightly cold, detached manner ideally matched to Treliński’s concept. The voice is in good shape – big and resonant with a warm, healthy core and an easy line. In the remainder of the cast, Sergii Magera sang Gremin with a big, booming bass. Liliana Istratii sang Olga with impeccable textual awareness and an easy, sunny mezzo. Joanna Motulewicz made an impression as Larina with a silky, fruity mezzo, while Anna Lubańska’s Filippyevna was full of character. The house chorus sang with firm, youthful tone and immaculate tuning, which made it all the more regrettable that they were denied their opening chorus. The house orchestra played decently for Yurkevych, the odd, passing moment of sour string intonation notwithstanding. Yurkevych favoured tempi that were languorous and thoughtful, often to the detriment of forward momentum. For instance, as Tatyana and Onegin reminisced about their lives in the final scene, the tempo seemed to ground to a halt. There were also a few moments along the way where it felt the singers wanted to keep things moving. Still, the winds were full of personality and while the brass didn’t always attack their entries unanimously, they were on good behaviour all night. This was a more than respectable Onegin. We were given a thoughtful and intelligent staging, one that mined deep into the work to explore its themes of loss, memory and non-conformity in a world were few are different. If there were perhaps one too many visual insights to fully take in on a first viewing, it still made for a fascinating evening in the theatre. Respectably sung and played – and even more than that in the case of Lampert’s Lensky – the evening was rapturously received by the Warsaw public who gave it a standing ovation.

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10 June 2019operatraveller.com
Cardillac, Hindemith
D: Mariusz Treliński
C: Tim Murray
Z "Cardillaca" Trelińskiego przebija cała brutalność dzisiejszego świata

"Cardillac" Hindemitha w reżyserii Mariusza Trelińskiego to triumf muzyki, stawiającej wysokie wymagania słuchaczowi, oraz polskich śpiewaków (...) Druga radosna wiadomość wiąże się z obsadą „Cardillaca". Nie trzeba było sprowadzać zagranicznych wykonawców, aby ta opera z trudnymi partiami wokalnymi i wymagająca świetnej dykcji w języku niemieckim mogła zostać świetnie wykonana na polskiej scenie. W obsadzie nie było słabych punktów, co jest ważne, ponieważ „Cardillac" jest operą zespołową, od wszystkich wymaga kunsztu. Świetnie zabrzmiały więc głosy Wojciecha Parchema (Młody) (...)

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28 June 2021wyborcza.plAnna S. Dębowska
Łowca jubilerów

W roli Oficera (w inscenizacji Trelińskiego: Młodego) wystąpił Wojciech Parchem, który próbował nie tylko oddać wyrywność chłystka-anarchisty, lecz także pewnie wykonywał wszystkie mordercze dźwięki tej tenorowej partii.

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01 July 2021www.dwutygodnik.comMarcin Bugucki
Billy Budd, Britten
D: Annilese Miskimmon
C: Michał Klauza
Maritime Claustrophobia: Billy Budd at the Teatr Wielki – Opera Narodowa

Wojciech Parchem offered a characterful and healthily-produced tenor as Red Whiskers, suggesting that he also could be a fine Vere.

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15 April 2019operatraveller.comOperatraveller

Explore more about Teatr Wielki - Opera Narodowa