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


Michał Prószyński

From the 2021/2022 season, Michał Prószyński is a member of Oper Bern, Switzerland, where his repertoire ranges from Pelléas in Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande to Mime in Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold; in December 2022, he will sing there his first Tamino in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. In July 2022, he made his debut at Verbier Festival in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera next to Ludovic Tézier as well as in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel (as Witch).

Born in Żyrardów, he learned singing at the Fryderyk Chopin State Music School Complex in Warsaw in the class of Leszek Świdziński. In the years 2016–2017 he studied at the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow (with Marek Rzepka) and subsequently at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hanover, graduating in 2021. He also graduated in classical guitar at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw with Marcin Zalewski.

He made his stage debut in 2015, singing the leading role of Antonio in Stanisław Moniuszko’s comic opera A Night in the Apennines at the Warsaw Chamber Opera. In the years 2018–2020, he appeared as a guest artist at Staatstheater Braunschweig (as Vicomte Cascada in The Merry Widow by Franz Lehár). In 2020, he was engaged to sing Roderick in Philip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher, accompanied by Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich, but the production had to be postponed due to Covid-19 shortly before the premiere. In 2021, he made his debut at Schlossfestspiele Ettlingen, singing Alfred in a new production of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and in 2022 – at the Munich Festival Stars & Rising Stars. In December 2022, the artist will sing Gustav Mahler’s Das klagende Lied with the Berner Symphonieorchester.

Michał Prószyński performed under the baton of such conductors as Daniel Carter, Nicholas Carter, Srba Dinić, Stanislav Kochanovsky, Gianandrea Noseda and worked with stage directors Elmar Goerden, Ewelina Marciniak, Aron Stiehl and Marco Štorman.