Saturday, July 21, 2012

Both Szymanowski Operas Being Performed in July

Mariusz Kwiecien
There is a lot of excitement about Mariusz Kwiecien bringing his world-remowned performance of Karol Szymanowski's title character King Roger to the Santa Fe Opera. There are five performance beginning tonight and running through August 14. Visit their website for additional information.

We've covered Kwiecien's sexy portrayal of the king extensively on the site, including the complete video of the opera and some sexy shirtless pictures of the "Hot Pole" from the Paris Opera production. You can also listen to Mariusz Kwiecien's recent radio interview where he talks about his love for Santa Fe and performing King Roger.

We're huge fans of Szymanowski and are thrilled that the Santa Fe Opera is exposing his music and stagecraft to American audiences. Although King Roger is the best known opera, his rarely performed Hagith is certainly worth experiencing.

Mariusz Kwiecien as King Roger at the Paris Opera
Szymanowski is best known for his wonderful piano music, which includes the famous Étude, Opus 4, No. 3, his four symphonies, two violin concertos, the ballets Harnasie and Mandragora two string quartets, a sonata for violin and piano, his famous Stabat Mater and a number of orchestral songs.

Hagith, which has been compared to Richard Strauss' Salome, is based on the Old Testament story of King David. Priests tell the aged king that the love of the young girl Hagith will bring him a new lease of life. But Hagith and the young king, the aged king's son, love each other, and Hagith refuses to make a sacrifice on behalf of the aged king. The aged king eventually dies, and Hagith is stoned to death.

The opera is receiving a rare performance outside of Poland this month as the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires is presenting four performances between July 22-28 in a double bill with Schoenberg's Erwartung. You can watch the Opera Wrocławska production in its entirety with Viktor Gorelikov below.

Opera Wrocławska's performance of Hagith:

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