The motto of the festival

This year's motto is the words of the Greek poet, Sappho, "Stand as a friend and look into my eyes - cheerful, kindly". When masks have become an indispensable prop of everyday life, the more we look into the eyes of others, reading their emotions from our gaze. This look can also be the seed of understanding, for the other person to see their humanity. This is what is needed in these times of uneasy tension, uncertainty and fear, and this is what the operas that will make up Opera Rara 2021 tell about, and this time it will be a journey from the very beginning of the genre to our times.

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About Festival

Starting in 2017, the most prestigious Krakow stages will host semi-operas that will show the true faces of musical theatre, with a symbolically marked set design and costumes and more pronounced acting, as well as full stage versions, the theatricality and professional production of which will captivate the audiences. The Opera Rara Festival is the answer to the voices of the public and the fulfilment of the stylistic gap that leaves the audiences hungering for more.

Opera Rara series has transformed into a three-week festival, which is held during the carnival. It is a time historically associated with the highest number of opera premieres, as well as a period full of balls, play and an atmosphere of celebration. The Festival is primarily an extension of the programme with vocal recitals, performances originating not only from the Baroque, but also rooted in the 20th century, semi-operas and half-stage versions of performances.

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  • Programme of the OPERA RARA 2021 Festival

    Last year’s Opera Rara Festival was held just before the outbreak of the pandemic. The world was turned upside-down soon after, and music and culture were forced to completely change track. The festival returns in a new reality, with a quote from the Greek poet Sappho “Stand up and look at me, face to face, […]
  • Sigismondo, or fake news in the opera

    Sometimes a trivial thing is enough for them to ruin the country they are supposed to rule. They divide people, building walls of hostility between them. They destroy their enemies with libel and slander, disregarding the fact that their private vendetta brings doom to whole nations. Interestingly enough, these methods have hardly changed throughout history. […]
  • Il ballo delle Ingrate – a perverse morality play

    American soprano and university professor Caitlin Vincent published an article in the summer of 2019, and even its title gave rise to heated debates: “Opera Is Stuck in a Racist, Sexist Past, While Many in the Audience Have Moved On.” According to the author, classic works from the opera repertoire – pieces dating back to […]
  • Unknown, I Live With You – opera against silence

    For many women, their participation in the Afghan Women’s Writing Project was a true breakthrough. As Roya recalls: I took up my pen to write and at first I was afraid: what to write? about what? But this was a project to write about everything, and I took the pen; I didn’t write from outside […]
  • Psychology of emotions

    Masquerades, costumes and dangerous switches The carnival – the time of entertainment, masked balls, and… the Opera Rara Festival. A time when our social standards and rules cease to apply. Cosi fan tutte gets rid of this corset of moral obligations and injunctions. Farce, cynicism and irony are combined here with poetic undertones, while the […]
  • Weisse Rose – third time’s a charm

    We no longer know where the boundaries of what we call fascism, Nazism, xenophobia, chauvinism or nationalism actually are. What is this patriotism that the greatest authoritarians hide behind so willingly? Its true sense is recalled by the actions of the members of Weisse Rose – the White Rose – young patriots who wanted to […]
  • Vanda and the question of the meaning of her sacrifice

    The figure of the fearless, beautiful and wise ancient ruler of Poland, daughter of Prince Krakus, was depicted for the first time in the Polish Chronicle by Wincenty Kadłubek, who wrote: “She surpassed everyone so far in both beauty and charm, that you would think that nature was not generous but profligate with its gifts […]


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