Opening of the 2023/2024 Concert Season Filharmonia Narodowa

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Opening of the 2023/2024 Concert Season
Eva Vogel, photo: Uwe Hauth

The intriguing programme of the concert inaugurating the 2023/2024 concert season at the Warsaw Philharmonic takes the form of an encounter between three classics. Although it might seem that the music of Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki continues to define contemporary Polish music, it is increasingly being assigned to the canon of the past. The programme of the opening concert of the new artistic season reminds us of important events related to those three innovative composers: the 110th anniversary of the birth of Lutosławski and the 90th anniversary of the birth of Penderecki and Górecki. Ludwig van Beethoven, who in his own times was regarded as a revolutionary (but also an eccentric), also came to embody for subsequent generations what was classical (and for many, what was finest). The turbulent history of the reception of his monumental Ninth Symphony in D minor shows that the significance of a given work is never established once and for all. It fascinated not just musicians and listeners with different tastes, but also representatives of different political factions and followers of extreme ideologies. It met along the way both nationalism and also universalism, which gave humanity hope. Today, one of the themes of the Symphony’s finale, which some critics of Beethoven’s time regarded as arrant extravagance, is one of the most recognisable melodies in Western musical culture, familiar as the anthem of the European Union.

Bartłomiej Gembicki 

The Warsaw Philharmonic Strategic Patron of the Year – PKO Bank Polski – warmly welcomes you to join us in this concert

Wojciech Gierlach

Graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw in the class of Kazimierz Pustelak (magna cum laude diploma), Wojtek Gierlach is a laureate of many international vocal competitions. His recent successes include Melisso (George Frideric Handel’s Alcina) at LA Opera in Los Angeles, Procida (Giuseppe Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani) at Bergen Nasjonale Opera, and Sarastro (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte) at the Polish Royal Opera in Warsaw.

In the 2017/2018 season, Wojtek Gierlach made his debut at the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden in London in the role of Priest in Dmitri Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (cond. Antonio Pappano). In recent years, he has also appeared for the first time on the stage of Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen and Welsh National Opera in Cardiff (as Sir Giorgio in Vincenzo Bellini’s I puritani, cond. Carlo Rizzi), as well as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Theater an der Wien.

He has also sung roles such as Don Basilio (Gioacchino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oroveso (Bellini’s Norma) at the Teatro Nacional Sao Carlos in Lisbon, Prince Assur (Rossini’s Semiramide) at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, Alidoro (Rossini’s La cenerentola) at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Melisso (Alcina) at the Opéra National de Bordeaux, Orbazzano (Rossini’s Tancredi) at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, Giorgio Talbot (Gaetano Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda) at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Count Rudolf (Bellini’s La sonnambula) and Rocco (Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fidelio) at the Theater St. Gallen.

At the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw he appeared in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Sarastro), Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia (Don Alfonso), Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Raimondo), Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (title character), Georges Bizet’s Carmen (Escamillo), Rossini’s Guillaume Tell (Gessler), Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda (Talbot) and Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto (Sparafucile).

Wojtek Gierlach also sings bass parts in cantata and oratorio works. He took part in performances of Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. In the near future, the artist will appear on the stage of ABAO Bilbao Opera as Osmin in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail and at Welsh National Opera in Cardiff as Mephistopheles in Charles Gounod’s Faust.