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

Samuel Sakker

Winner of the 2017 Wagner Society Singing Competition, London-based Australian tenor Samuel Sakker is an alumnus of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme and a former company principal of the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden.

His operatic highlights include Tristan in Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (Opéra national de Lorraine, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in Ghent, Opera Théâtre de Caen), Erik in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer (Angers Nantes Opéra, Opéra de Rennes, Nederlandse Reisopera in Enschede, Cape Town Opera), Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre (Melbourne Opera), Florestan in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fidelio (Lyric Opera Ireland in Dublin), Boris and Tikhon in Leoš Janáček’s Kátya Kabanová (Scottish Opera), Don Jose in Georges Bizet’s Carmen (Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen), Pollione in Vicenzo Bellini’s Norma and Macduff in Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth (both in Melbourne Opera), Cavaradossi in Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca (English Touring Opera), Federico in Francesco Cilea’s L’arlesiana (Opera Holland Park in London), Rodolfo in Puccini’s La boheme (Scottish Opera in Glasgow), Alfredo in Verdi’s Traviata (Royal Opera House, New Zealand Opera, Melbourne Opera) and subsequent roles in opera houses in Australia.

On the concert platform he has performed tenor parts in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Verdi’s and Mozart’s Requiems, Georg Friedrich Händel’s Messiah, and Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time. He took part in a Grammy-nominated recording of John Adams’ opera Doctor Atomic (as Dr James Nolan) and in William Alwyn’s Miss Julie (Chandos). He has performed with many conductors, including Sir Antonio Pappano, Alan Gilbert, Hartmut Haenchen, Daniel Oren, Dan Ettinger, Marc Minkowski, Nicola Luisotti, Sakari Oramo, James Gaffigan, Leo Hussain and Alejo Pérez. He will soon make his debuts in the title roles of Wagner’s Lohengrin (Ópera de Oviedo) and Tannhäuser (Oper Graz), as well as his first appearance at Glyndebourne Festival Opera.