Warsaw Chamber Opera
The Opera was founded in 1961. The first stage premiere of this group was G.B. Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, performed on 4 September 1961. The repertoire of the Warsaw Chamber Opera is characterized by a great variety of musical styles and forms of presented works; from medieval mystery plays, through operas of the early and late Baroque, classical operas, operas by Rossini and Donizetti, to contemporary stage works, several of which were commissioned by the Warsaw Chamber Opera. The Opera’s artists also perform chamber, oratorio, and symphonic music of various eras.
Since 15 October 1986, the Warsaw Chamber Opera has been performing at its own theatre located at al. Solidarności 76b, in a historic building dating back to 1775. The Opera house, with its intimate interior and excellent acoustics, is listed in the register of Warsaw’s historical monuments. The second stage, Basen Artystyczny of the Warsaw Chamber Opera, opened in January 2019. Due to its historical function, this casual space enables us to execute original performances with surprising scenic design.
To the present day, the Warsaw Chamber Opera has been organizing many festivals, including the Mozart Festival, Baroque Opera Festival, Claudio Monteverdi Festival, Gioacchino Rossini Festival, and the Polish Contemporary Opera Festival. From 2000 to 2001, the Opera organized a celebration of the 400th anniversary of opera as a genre. Fifty-seven stage works from various eras (including seven premieres) were performed at this “festival of festivals” ranging from the first opera ever preserved in its entirety, Jacopo Peri’s Euridice, to contemporary operas written for the WCO.
The Warsaw Chamber Opera’s flagship artistic endeavour is the Mozart Festival, which has been taking place for 32 years. It was first organized in 1991 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Viennese composer’s death. Since its inception, the Festival has been the only event in Europe featuring the entire body of work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed by an artistic group of a single opera theatre. The composer’s operas are presented each year, as well as his oratorios, symphonies, instrumental concertos, and chamber pieces. Performances and concerts are held every year in May, June, and July at the Warsaw Chamber Opera Theatre and other historic venues in the capital.
The Warsaw Chamber Opera’s large-scale foreign activities emphasize the quality of its brand. The group has regularly performed outside Poland nearly from its inception. It has staged a complete set of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna, almost a complete set in the Netherlands, and periodically presented its repertoire on the stages of France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, Austria, Israel, Portugal, Slovenia, and Croatia. The Warsaw Chamber Opera has toured Japan 7 times, staging works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (more than 150 performances in total) and Gioacchino Rossini on the country’s most renowned stages. It has performed regularly in Lebanon (Al Bustan Festival) and Oman (Muscat Music Festival). The WCO group has staged classical, romantic, and contemporary operas, as well as works of Baroque and Renaissance.
In 2017, as part of the ARMEL Festival in Vienna, WCO staged Operetta by Michal Dobrzynski based on a drama by Witold Gombrowicz. That same year we presented Georg Friedrich Händel’s opera Imeneo as part of the St. Petersburg Opera Festival. The Early Instruments Orchestra of the Warsaw Chamber Opera Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense played a concert with Hubert Rutkowski (soloist – historical piano) as part of a festival in Hamburg.
The 2017 premiere of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s opera Armide was produced in cooperation with Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik and Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles in co-production with the Polish public television theme channel TVP Kultura. In addition, the Warsaw Chamber Opera was awarded the Giuseppe di Stefano Prize in Taormina, Sicily, by the Sicilian Lyric Choir for its production of Armide.
As part of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s grant program Cultural Bridges, the WCO staged Tango by Michal Dobrzynski, based on Slawomir Mrożek’s drama at the Estonian National Opera in Tallinn.
In 2019, the WCO toured Japan for two weeks with performances of The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro and Mozart’s Requiem. Also in 2019, in cooperation with TVP Kultura, performances of Stanislaw Moniuszko‘s Vilnius Halka and Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice were recorded and broadcast; the opera aired during the 15th-anniversary celebration of the TVP Kultura theme channel.
In 2020, a ballet performance of Peter Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker was produced for the first time in the WCO’s history and then broadcast by TVP Kultura.
Jean-Philippe Rameau’s French Baroque masterpiece Castor et Pollux was recorded in 2021 in co-production with TVP Kultura.
The performance at the famous concert hall of the Vienna Music Society (Wiener Musikverein) in April 2022, during which J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion, conducted by Michal Maciaszczyk, was also a noteworthy success.
The phonographic catalogue of the Warsaw Chamber Opera features the latest albums: Jazz with MACV: Krzysztof Herdzin, Jazz with MACV: Marcin Masecki and Overtures by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. All of our releases are available on major streaming platforms.