2023 International Opera Awards, Wielki Theatre, Polish National Opera, Warsaw
I attended this important, excellent world musical event last night. The war in Ukraine meant that the original destination of the ceremony in the opera houses of Lviv or Odessa was moved to Poland, a doorstep neighbor to this appalling conflict with no clear end in sight.
The ceremony was perfectly planned, ran like a Swiss watch with highly professional and fluent presentation of the awards by BBC Radio 3 presenter Petroc Trelawny. The Moniuszko arias and 'Grand Opera' arias were superbly sung.
|The Awards programme with arias and singers|
This excellence came as a surprise, I am sure, to the discriminating international audience who was perhaps more accustomed to rather everyday and perfunctory performances of Moniuszko in Polish. I have begun to wonder if it is inferior performances of Moniuszko that have relegated him to an inferior position among composers.
The composer has to be grateful to Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante and the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute (NIFC) for service to elevate his art to its true status and gradually place it in the standard operatic repertoire. The NIFC, under their Artistic Director Stanisław Leszczyński, has issued many authentic recordings of these Moniuszko operas, songs and piano works
I cannot possibly cover in detail what transpired last evening in terms of the awards, artists and performances, so I refer you to this truly excellent website below. It has the list of award winners and interesting video flashbacks of the award winners on Operavision.
There were two Polish winners and other Polish nominations for awards. Tomasz Konieczny was nominated for Male Singer, Piotr Beczala was nominated for Opera magazine Reader's Choice and Boris Kudlička was nominated for Designer.
YOUNG SINGER OF THE YEAR
Poznań Opera for the Moniuszko opera Jawnuta
This strongly confirms in my mind the
Polish Musical Renaissance
at present taking place
And if you missed the event online and you want to watch the entire ceremony:
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You may also like to read my 2019 account of the 200th birthday celebrations and the opening of The 10th International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition, Warsaw. It has much background information on Stanisław Moniuszko (1819-1872).