We return in a changed reality

Last year's edition of our festival managed to end at the last minute before the outbreak of a global pandemic. Its echoes, still unclear at the time, could not distract us from the presented works. Soon, however, it would turn out to be one of the last musical events in Poland that could take place in an ordinary form. A moment later, everything was to change and the whole musical life was to be switched to completely new tracks. So much so that what happened a year ago has something surreal about it that we long for, as if for some unattainable good. Despite this, we do not give up, believing that what is good will survive. We return in this changed reality with the news that we are here and we are preparing the Opera Rara 2021 Festival for you! Soon we will discover more details.

Recommended events:

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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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  • Bridges instead of walls – presenting the programme of the Opera Rara 2020 festival

    These works come from different epochs and represent different styles, but are connected by a common thought. They make us wonder why we are so eager to build walls around us, what are the consequences of this, and what to do to build bridges instead of them. Olga Tokarczuk, the winner of last year’s Nobel […]
  • The Study of Anxiety

    The history of the German anti-Nazi student organisation, which manifested their opposition against the authorities and called upon society to unite against the rulers has not been forgotten – and definitely not by the world of opera. Udo Zimmermann returned to the subject a couple of times. As a university student, he scored his brother’s […]
  • A meeting with directors

    “In terms of staging, opera has been clearly heading in the direction of extensive theatrical productions in recent years; hence the idea to invite directors who are proficient in both theatre and opera to the Opera Rara Festival projects. As a critic dealing mainly with theatre, I intend to look at opera with my guests […]
  • Flavour-Filled Opera Rara

    Flavour-Filled Opera Rara is a project accompanying the Opera Rara Festival, which invites the audience to the table, partially as a way to complement the experience of the concert and make it fuller, thanks to the sense of taste. The previous editions of the festival offered a number of opportunities to sit at the table. […]
  • Bridges, not walls, or art – innovation – integration

    Join us for the meeting kicking off the 2020 Opera Rara Festival, which will be attended by Robert Piaskowski (Representative of the Mayor of the City of Krakow for Culture), Nicholas Payne (director of the Opera Europa international association) and Karolina Sofulak (director of Vanda, one of the operas slated to be presented during the […]
  • Is there anything to laugh at here?

    Sigismondo, with a libretto by Giuseppe Foppa, is based on its authors’ fantasy about Poland, which was nowhere to be found on the world maps at the time of its premiere in 1814. Using literary fiction, they showcased the universal themes of tolerance towards otherness and the impact of emotion on decision making. Trusting the […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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. […]
  • Seeking the AirPort. An interview with director Krystian Lada

    Tomasz Domagała: For this year’s Opera Rara Festival, in addition to Rossini’s Sigismondo, you also directed Unknown, I Live With You by Katarzyna Głowicka. Why take on two such different projects? Krystian Lada: The cooperation with Katarzyna Głowicka is the crowning achievement of our shared artistic path based on the belief that opera can be […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • Sigismondo’s ahistorical historicity according to Matejko. An interview with Krystian Lada.

    Tomasz Domagała: How does the story you’re adapting to the stage fit in with our times? Krystian Lada: When I start working on an opera I don’t know, I try to understand the composition structure of the work. And I’m not talking about musical composition, but about the deep structure of a given opera as […]
  • fot. Edyta Dufaj

    Co królowej wypada

    Słychać, że Vanda wyszła spod pióra Dvořáka: w liryzmie i słowiańskiej śpiewności, falującej linii melodycznej i interwalice, w samym też instrumentarium (przepięknie nostalgiczna harfa). Gęsto zapisana partytura, choć często monumentalna w brzmieniu (ukłon w kierunku francuskich grand opèra), nie przytłacza – zaczepne tryle i umykające pasaże, wplecione między potężne bloki muzyczne, dodają im filuterii i […]
  • Barok, folia i neon

    Napisany z okazji wesela syna księcia Mantui utwór, przez wprowadzenie do akcji fragmentów tanecznych zachęcał gości do współtworzenia przedstawianej historii, a nie tylko jej wysłuchania. Moralitet o pannach obojętnych na gorące uczucia zalotników przy pobieżnym oglądzie może dziś budzić kontrowersje, jednak Szpecht reżyserskimi smaczkami poszturchiwała dosłowną warstwę libretta, wydobywając uniwersalność uczuć, zamiast uwypuklania dysonansu płci. […]
  • Emigranci dnia powszedniego

    Dziś pozostająca w cieniu innych utworów epoki wiktoriańskiej (przynajmniej w naszym kraju) twórczość Alfreda Tennysona przyniosła mu niegdyś niewiarygodną sławę. Jego utwory sprzedawały się na pniu, zaczytywała się w nich brytyjska monarchia, a zachwycona nimi królowa Wiktoria nadała Tennysonowi tytuł szlachecki – tym samym został on pierwszym lordem wśród poetów. Richard Strauss sięgnął po Enocha […]
  • Ich głos

    Do historii przechodzą heroiny, które z miłości do mężczyzn sprowadzają na siebie tragiczny koniec. Założeniem The Airport Society, współtworzonego przez kompozytorkę Katarzynę Głowicką i reżysera Krystiana Ladę, jest dawanie nowego życia słowom, postaciom i historiom, które nie brzmią wystarczająco głośno. Taka jest ich opera-instalacja Unknown, I Live With You, prezentowana podczas tegorocznej edycji Festiwalu Opera […]


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