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

Izabela Matuła

An honoured graduate of the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow (2009), Izabela Matuła represented Poland at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2009.Her first operatic roles were Gabrielle in Krzysztof Penderecki’s The Devils of Loudun, Marguerite in Charles Gounod’s Faust and Micaëla in Georges Bizet’s Carmen with Krakow Opera. In the years 2012–2018, she was engaged at Theater Krefeld und Mönchengladbach, performing roles of Ellen Orford in Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, Amelia in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and title parts in Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Leoš Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová. Her repertoire includes roles such as Contessa Almaviva (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro), Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Mimi (Puccini’s La boheme), and the main roles: Puccini’s Tosca and Madama Butterfly, Antonia (Jacques Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann), Elsa (Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin), Leonora (Verdi’s Il trovatore), Daughter (Paul Hindemith’s Cardillac), Wally (Alfred Catalani’s La Wally). Guest appearances have taken Izabela Matuła to Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw (as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello, Leonora in Verdi’s La forza del destino and as Halka in Stanisław Moniuszko’s opera), to Bergen (as Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi), to Bilbao (as Mimi) and to Palermo (as Dorotka in Jaromír Weinberger’s Schwanda, der Dudelsackpfeifer), among others. She also performed at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Theater an der Wien, Landestheater Linz, Theater Dortmund, Oper Frankfurt and in Nürnberg, Braunschweig, Darmstadt and Düsseldorf.

Izabela Matuła is also internationally successful as a concert singer. Her repertoire ranges from works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven to Gustav Mahler, Dmitri Shostakovich and especially numerous pieces by Krzysztof Penderecki.