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UK opera house pitches for Polish audience

September 27, 2017 by norman lebrecht

3 comments.


This is smart.

Opera North’s new production of Cavalleria Rusticana is set in rust-belt Poland of the 1970s.

That’s the kind of time warp and place warp that directors do these days.

Karolina Sofulak says: ‘Poland is a deeply religious country which was occupied for centuries by various foreign powers, and in this respect it’s very similar to post-Risorgimento Sicily, the original setting of Cavalleria rusticana. I’ve been drawing on my own experiences and my family’s experiences of growing up in an intensely Catholic and economically deprived country – where everyday hardships make people turn towards the dreaminess of religion, make them filter and channel their desires and frustrations through obsessive faith.’

Fair enough.

But someone must be aware that there are a million Poles living in the UK, many in the north of England where Opera North is based. This could prove an irresistible magnet to get them into the opera house.

photo (c) Robert Workman/Opera North


Comments (3)

  1. Graeme Hall says:

    I didn’t know that Leeds was in the North East. Must have drifted there over-night in the wind. Do I have to call myself a Geordie now?

  2. David Osborne says:

    That’s just a wonderful idea. I hope it works as well as it sounds.

  3. Don Fatale says:

    The wonderful Pountney/Travers production of Straszny Dwór (The Haunted Manor) for Polish National Opera would be an even bigger draw for the Poles in Britain. More suited to ENO’s large stage I guess.


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