Choral Music Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Choral Music Concert
Bartosz Michałowski, photo: Weronika Kosińska

The requiem is an exceptional musical genre, almost every example of which is linked to the mourning of a particular individual or collectivity. Initially the name requiem meant a setting of the texts of the funeral mass, strictly defined by liturgical books. Over time, the genre became more independent, thanks to composers who chose the words of the cycle with increasing freedom. For many years, the reason behind the composing of the moving Requiem by Herbert Howells, one of the leading representatives of twentieth-century English choral music, was believed to have been the painful loss of his son. However, archive research has shown that this composition was written a few years earlier. Only later did the work acquire an overwhelmingly personal significance for the composer, who waited almost 40 years before publishing it. Howells’s Requiem will be performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir, conducted by its director, Bartosz Michałowski, in an exceptional concert of sacred choral music from different parts of twentieth-century Europe related largely to the theme of passing. The programme will conclude with the Missa brevis by the Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström, who died a few years ago and would have turned 80 this year.

Bartłomiej Gembicki



Anna Bernacka

Graduated from the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław in the vocal class of Ewa Czermak, Anna Bernacka honed her skills at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover in the class of Carol Richardson-Smith. The recipient of scholarships from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro, as well as the Richard-Wagner-Stipendienstiftung in Bayreuth.

She has also been a finalist and prize-winner at many international vocal competitions, including International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition in Warsaw, International Antonín Dvořák Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary, and the Halina Halska-Fijałkowska International Vocal Competition in Wrocław. Anna Bernacka has attended master classes led by Teresa Berganza Vargas, Christa Ludwig, Teresa Żylis-Gara, Helena Łazarska, and Ryszard Karczykowski.

She made her debut in 2006 as Driada in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater where she returned to sing Mere Marie in Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites. In the years 2007–2017 she regularly appeared at the Wrocław Opera. The artist cooperates with Komische Oper Berlin, Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Warsaw Chamber Opera, and opera houses in Łódź, Białystok, Gdańsk, Krakow, Poznań and Szczecin.

Anna Bernacka has in her repertoire parts in operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte), Gioacchino Rossini (Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Angelina in La Cenerentola), George Frideric Handel, Giuseppe Verdi, Georges Bizet, Modest Mussorgsky, Stanisław Moniuszko, Jacques Offenbach, Johann Strauss (father), Richard Strauss, Karol Szymanowski, Sergei Prokofiev, Leoš Janaček, Krzysztof Penderecki, Arthur Honegger, Paul Hindemith and Aribert Reimann, among others. She is also a valued performer of oratorio-cantata music, from Johann Sebastian Bach to Dmitri Shostakovich.

She has performed under the baton of such conductors as Jacek Kaspszyk, Tadeusz Kozłowski, Stefan Soltesz, Konrad Junghänel, Łukasz Borowicz, Friedrich Haider, Benjamin Bayl, Stefano Montanari, Gerd Schaller, Andriy Yurkevych, José Maria Florencio, Carlo Montanaro, Bassem Akiki, Steven Sloane, and cooperated with directors: Mariusz Treliński, Keith Warner, Ivo van Hove, David Pountney, Christopher Alden, Willy Decker, Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, Michał Znaniecki, Hans-Peter Lehmann, Christoph Marthaler, Bruno Klimek, and Yuri Alexandrov.

In 2015, she received the Jan Kiepura Theatre Music Award in the “best singer” category. The production of the opera Goplana by Władysław Żeleński at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera (dir. Janusz Wiśniewski), with Anna Bernacka in one of the roles, was awarded the prestigious International Opera Award in 2017. In 2021, Anna Bernacka was among artists of the “Polish Music Scene” programme.