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Closing Gala of the 32. Mozart Festival in Warsaw – Tribute to Maria Callas

2 July 2023 @ 18:00 - 21:00
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Mozart Night – Tribute to Maria Callas
Closing Gala of the 32. Mozart Festival in Warsaw

Arnold Szyfman Polish Theatre

Tomasz Cyz – director
Alicja Węgorzewska – artistic concept
Katarzyna Łuszczyk – lighting director
Monika Stolarska – video
Agata Koschmieder – costumes
Katarzyna Gabrat-Szymańskascenographic cooperation
Agata Ślósarska-Bastgen – production


Joanna Moskowicz – Konstanze
Katarzyna Drelich – Queen of the Night
Ana Naqe – Elettra, Medea
Natalia Rubiś – Donna Elvira
Gabriela Legun – Donna Anna
Dorota Szczepańska – Zerlina, Susanna
Ewa Tracz – The Countess

Tomasz Nosiński

with the special participation of Maria Dębska

The event will be hosted by:
Alicja Węgorzewska, Jerzy Snakowski

Musicians of Ancient Instruments Ensemble of Warsaw Chamber Opera
Musicae Antique Collegium Varsoviense

Nikol Kraft


In programme:

Wolfgang Amadeusz Mozart

The Abduction from the seraglio
Singt dem grossen Bassa Lieder
Ach ich liebte

The Marriage of Figaro
Ricevete, o padroncina
Porgi amor 

Don Giovanni
Ah! chi mi dice mai
Vedrai, carino

Idomeneo, Re di Creta
Placido è il mar, andiamo
D’Oreste, d’Ajace

Don Giovanni
Non mi dir
Ah, fugi il traditor

The Abduction from the seraglio
Traurigkeit ward mir zum Lose


The Marriage of Figaro
Che soave zeffiretto

Don Giovanni
Or sai chi l’onore

The Marriage of Figaro
Deh, vieni non tardar
Dove sono i biei momenti

Don Giovanni
Mi tradì quell’alma ingrata

The Magic Flute
Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen
O Isis und Osiris

Luigi Cherubini
Taci Giason? De tuoi figli la madre

Wolfgang Amadeusz Mozart

The Abduction from the seraglio
FINALE: Martern aller Arten

Unusually rough love

Maria Callas, originally Maria Anna Cecilia Sophie Kalogeropoulos, was born in New York on 2 December 1923 and died on September 16th 1977 in Paris. She owes her surname to her father, who, for practical reasons, initially changed it to Kalos and finally to Callas. It was her mother who encouraged Maria to sing and tried to develop her vocal talent. Her first opera role was the part of Santuzza in Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, but it was the title role in Giacomo Puccini Tosca which made her a star.

In Italy, where she achieved spectacular success in the title role in A. Ponchielli’s Gioconda, she met the conductor Tullio Serafin, whom she revealed in one of her interviews: working with Serafin was the really lucky opportunity. He taught me that there must be an expression; there must be a justification. He taught me the depth of music, the searching for the essence in character portrayal. Her dramatic soprano quickly paved the way to the most important stages. Many critics praised her bel canto technique, wide vocal range, and dramatic interpretations. Her repertoire included both classical opera seria and the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini, as well as works by Verdi and Puccini, and in her early career, she did not shy away from Wagner’s music dramas.

And how was it with Mozart? One could say that it was perhaps, as she herself said, the most unsuccessful musical marriage in her history. She recorded only four arias and the aforementioned stage portrayal. And that was basically it. She revealed: 

Mozart is undoubtedly an extraordinary genius and I cannot imagine the world without him, but generally speaking his operatic music does not really take me out of this world. It is the Mozart of the piano concertos that I love passionately. 

Maria Callas recorded four Mozart arias: Porgi, amor from The Marriage of Figaro,  two arias of Donna Anna and Mi tradì quell’alma ingrata of Donna Elvira from Don Giovanni. Paradoxically, although she spoke about these portrayals with restraint, the opinions of her fans who admired her talent speak volumes. Tullio Serafin said about Callas that this woman can sing anything written for the female voice, and Leonard Bernstein, seeking analogies between her Countess and Mozart’s Andante from the Bassoon Concerto in B-flat major, K. 191, called Callas the Bible of opera. 

And what connects the Warszawska Opera Kameralna with Maria Callas? 

Alicja Węgorzewska-Whiskerd, the director of the Warszawska Opera Kameralna, received the prestigious Maria Callas Tribute Prize in December 2019, which she accepted during a gala in New York. This is not the only thread connecting WOK with Callas. Jean-Claude Malgoire – conductor, chamber musician, virtuoso of the oboe and English horn, and a close friend of Maria Callas – has worked multiple times with the Warszawska Opera Kameralna, appreciating, among other things, the artistry of Warszawska Opera Kameralna. This was evident when he invited the Warszawska Opera Kameralna musicians to his theatre Atelier Lyrique de Turcoing in France, and also when he conducted performances in Warsaw – Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Alceste in 1997 and André Campry’s Tancrède in 2008. 

Piotr Iwicki

Arnold Szyfman Polish Theatre
Address: ul. Karasia 2

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