New Year's Eve Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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New Year's Eve Concert
Łukasz Borowicz, photo: Ksawery Zamoyski

Every year, the Warsaw Philharmonic invites listeners to spend New Year’s Eve in the company of music. This year, the orchestra led by Łukasz Borowicz, alongside outstanding soloists, will be performing in full one of the most celebrated operettas in the history of the genre. Ferenc Lehar’s The Merry Widow was first staged in Vienna towards the end of 1905. The history of the work’s composition is so colourful and dramatic that it could be used as the plot for another operetta. The name of the composer – whose music contributed to the extraordinary success of The Merry Widow, performed in its original production almost 500 times – ultimately eclipsed the names of the librettists and the initiators of the project. Lehar was the second composer asked to write the music for this operetta, and towards the end of his work, he was on the point of being dismissed. Until the very last minute, doubts remained as to whether the work would prove a success; the budget and number of rehearsals were reduced to a minimum, and the costs of preparing the costumes and sets were covered partly by the performers themselves. In addition, there was a whiff of diplomatic scandal in the air, and the librettists decided to cover up the source of their not entirely original – as it turned out – idea.

Bartłomiej Gembicki


* Opera Academy at Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw

Warsaw Philharmonic Patron of the Year – PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna – warmly welcomes you to join us in this concert

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.