Oratorio Music Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Oratorio Music Concert
Ingrida Gápová, photo: Aciuro Studio

George Frideric Handel spent his whole life experimenting with various genres. Just when it seemed that a decline of interest in his operas would force the Saxonian into an early retirement, he enjoyed a resurgence in a genre that he reformed – nowadays known as the English oratorio. Here Handel relied on what the British have been famed for to this day – excellent choirs, some with a tradition stretching back for hundreds of years. In few of his works does the choral part play such an important role in terms of drama and illustration as in Israel in Egypt. Suffice it to mention that there are just a handful of numbers with solo parts here. Among the most attractive moments in this work are the grotesque, thrilling and at times utterly shocking musical tableaux of the famous Egyptian plagues. Hopping frogs are depicted by means of playful dotted rhythms. The intolerable buzzing of flies is imitated by rapid violin passages. The plague of hail begins with the gentle ‘precipitation’ of single notes, passing into an increasingly fast and elemental storm, full of ‘atmospheric discharges’ in the kettle drums. That violence abates for a while thanks to a fantastically depicted darkness – so dense that it was ‘palpable’, as specified in the libretto. The grand and shocking finale to the series of plagues is the extermination of the first-born sons, where a dramatic fugue resounds against chords that pulsate like fatal blows.

Bartłomiej Gembicki


Ingrida Gápová

Born in Slovakia, Ingrida Gápová graduated from the Vocal and Acting department at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz.

She was twice the recipient of the scholarship from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. She cooperates with the Baltic Opera in Gdańsk, Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw, Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, Slovak National Opera SND in Bratislava, National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava and the Wrocław Opera.

In October 2015, she sang solo part in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in an European tour with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk and in March 2016, she debuted in Finland with Helsinki Baroque Ensemble Orchestra under the baton of Aapo Häkkinen. In the 2019/2020 season, the artist performed in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart operas (as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte) during the Warsaw Chamber Opera Japan tour (in Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, among others).

In 2013, she won 3rd Prize in opera category and five special prices (among them the best Mozart interpretation) at the 48th Antonín Dvořák International Competition in Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic). She is also winner of the Selma D and Leon Fishbach Memorial Award at the Handel Singing Competition in London in 2015.

Together with the Goldberg Baroque Ensemble, for the Sarton Records she recorded the world premieres: Christmas Cantatas of 18th century Gdańsk (2010), Lent Cantatas of 18th century Gdańsk (2011), Passio Christi by Johann Balthasar Christian Freislich (2012) and The Gdańsk Baroque Cantatas (2015); the two latter have been nominated for the Fryderyk award (2013, 2016). Recordings of Freislich’s Secular Cantatas (2020) and Sacred Music of Johann Valentin Meder (2020) received nominations for Fryderyk award in 2021. In May 2022, together with Goldberg Baroque Ensemble she took part in the prestigious MONIUSZKO 150 project, which included a series of concerts in Vilnius and Berlin on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the death of Stanisław Moniuszko.