At Theater an der Wien, Stanisław Moniuszko‘s opera Halka, rarely performed outside Poland, is staged with a first-class cast including star tenor Piotr Beczała. In 1858, Moniuszko succeeded in defining a specifically Polish musical tone with Halka, for which reason this piece is still considered the Polish national opera today. The overwhelming success was based on the clever integration of Polish dances such as the Mazurka, the Polonaise and folklore. The socially critical plot is about poor Halka, who comes from a peasant background and falls in love with Janusz, who is above her in rank, and gets pregnant by him. But Janusz marries the beautiful and rich Zofia. Despite the love of her childhood friend Jontek, Halka commits suicide.
With Piotr Beczała – “vocally outstanding” – and Tomasz Konieczny – “his acting is piercing” (Der Standard), two of the internationally most important Polish singers appear on the stage of Theater an der Wien for the first time. The American soprano Corinne Winters as fragile Halka is an absolute equal partner. The Polish leading team, first and foremost director Mariusz Treliński, puts the plot into a supercooled crime aesthetic. The ORF Radio Symphonie-Orchester Wien under the baton of Łukasz Borowicz plays with perceptible delight. “A gripping opera evening, a discovery for the ears and eyes” hails Wiener Zeitung.