Skip to main content

Karol Szymanowski: KRÓL ROGER

Semi-stage performance of the opera in three acts

Premiere
Place of Performance
Historická budova

„... we have spent many hours talking about how will our Roger look like and how many ´unsolvable riddles´ we will put not only for our viewers and listeners, but also director and dramaturge.“ Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz (1894-1980), opera librettist in 1965.

 

The opera, King Roger, is the supreme work of Karol Szymanowski, whose creation was finished between 1918-1924. The libretto was written by the composer in collaboration with his distant cousin Jaroslaw Iwaskiewicz, who later became well-known Polish writer. After several visits to Italy and Sicily, Szymanowski was fascinated by their culture and history, as well as the unknown worlds that opened up to him in Mediterranean  surroundings. The Bacchae by Euripides, Plato´s Phaedrus and Symposium, as well as the pieces of Friedrich Nietzsche also became King Roger´s spiritual inspiration.

 

The story of the opera is the story of the ruler Roger as a representative of a social system, a world of rationality, discipline and faith, disrupted by a mysterious Shepherd.  With the arrival of a modern prophet, who preaches hedonism and self-indulgence and is followed by crowds, not only the existing social order will be shaken, but Roger´s personal transformation will also begin. Szymanowski himself referred to his work as a „mystery“ – his themes are self-knowledge, sexuality, altered states of consciousness, but also religion and new forms of spirituality.

 

Karol Szymanowski created an unique musical language in opera, based on various composition and music styles. In characterization of opposite worlds of the King Roger and the Shepherd, as well as in the ecstatic peaks of the work, the influence of modern music of the beginning of the 20th century can be found, exotic oriental motifs, but we also hear Goral melodies from around the Tatras.

 

This original synthesis of musical and spiritual-philosophical influences in King Roger is one of the reasons why this piece has become closer to the modern audience in recent years and is experiencing its renaissance on the biggest opera stages of the world.

 

We thank the Art Support Fund for the scolarship for our Ukrainian artists in this project.

 

Libretto:Karol Szymanowski, Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz
Music preparation:Peter Valentovič
Concept:Anton Korenči, Roland Khern Tóth, Stanislav Trnovský
Directed by:Anton Korenči
Scenography:Ondrej Zachar
Costume design:Boris Hanečka
Lighting Design:Róbert Farkaš
Conductor:Peter Valentovič
Choirmaster:Peter Valentovič
Language tutor:Marcin Koziel
Assistant choirmaster:Iryna Demianyshyna
Children chir:Igor Dohovič
Asaistant director: 
Concertmaster:Peter Michálik
Piano accompanists:Júlia Grejtáková, Daniel Motyka
Stege managers:Viera Hronská, Magdaléna Kovalčíková
Whisperers:Magdaléna Kovalčíková, Klaudia Kovalčíková

 

Roger:Michal Partyka
Roxana:Gabriela Hrženjak
Edrisi:Maksym Kutsenko
Shepherd:Juraj Hollý
The archbishop:Michal Onufer
Deaconess:Myroslava Havryliuk