The Sunday Opera: Two by Stanislaw Moniuszko: "Halka" & "Beata"
Stanislaw Moniuszko is considered to be the father Polish national opera, and two of his works will be featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (6/13 3:00 p.m.). The first is considered to be one of his greatest works which is entitled “Halka.” The romantic tragedy is about a young mountain girl who is spurned by the man who has said he loved her, and her resulting depression results in her tragic death as he marries another. The second is Moniuszko’s last opera, a comedy entitled “Beata.” Audiences rejected this charming piece because they expected only nationalistic works from the composer. The story here is about a beautiful young woman named Beata who is convinced that she has been disfigured by her recent battle with smallpox by a group of town gossips. Although her father and others try to convince her to the contrary (apparently, no one owns a mirror in this village), she tries to reconcile herself to the fact that she would never again be beautiful. However, with a resourceful fiancé and a caring doctor on hand, Beata is able to rise above the gossips and a jealous rival for her hand, and there’s a very happy ending.
The casts for these operas come from the Poznan Opera and the Krakow Opera.
After the operas, more of Moniuszko’s delightful music is scheduled including dances from his opera “The Countess.”