Halka

Stanisław Moniuszko’s Halka is sometimes regarded as Poland’s national opera.  It’s one of those mid 19th century works that tries to create some kind of national idiom broadly within the framework of the musical style of the age (the composer was conservatory trained in Berlin).  It’s really quite good but rarely performed outside Poland so it’s interesting to look at it, especially in a rather good production by Mariusz Treliński that was given and recorded at Theater an der Wien in 2019.

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Intense, if a bit weird, Onegin

Mariusz Treliński’s Eugene Onegin originated in Warsaw but was filmed in Valencia.  It’s distinctly on the Regietheater end of the spectrum but it’s intense and oddly compelling.  The sets are spare and almost abstract.  A silent character, O***, is interpolated.  he’s a sort of Commendatore’s ghost who comments on the action and interacts with characters at key moments; with Tatiana during the letter scene and with Lensky before the duel for example.  A lot of action takes place in front of the pit, usually simultaneously with action further back on stage making for quite complex (and hard to film) visuals.

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