|Mariusz Kwiecien (photo on left by Bill Cooper, photo on right Minjas Zugik)
Karol Szymanowski’s Król Roger recently opened at the Royal Opera House and became the first Polish language opera performed at Covent Garden. The opera itself, which first premiered in 1926, has been a bit of rarity in in England, with only a modest production of the work having been performed at Sader's Wells over 40 years ago. The current production, directed by Kasper Holton, has additional performances from May 6-19.
The opera is about struggle between conservatism and sensuality, between Christian orthodoxy and pagan abandon, portrayed onstage by the church and the sexually tempting shepherd. Starring in his signature role of the King is über-barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien. The all-star cast also includes Saimir Pirgu as the Shepherd, Georgia Jarman as Roxana, Kim Begley as Edrisi and Alan Ewing as the Archbishop.
If you can't make it to this performance of Król Roger, it can be viewed from Saturday, May 16th on the Royal Opera House website or on YouTube. It will also be available on the newly launched Opera Europa Digital Platform that will showcase live streams and a range of behind-the-scenes footage from fifteen opera houses across Europe.