Polish Ballet in Malopolska

Zakopane, Krakow, Tanow and Nowy Sacz, these four cities in Malopolska Province are to host the outdoor stage performances of the famous Polish ballet “Harnasie.”

This remarkable project is a part of celebration of The Year of Karol Szymanowski, on the 70th anniversary of his death, as announced by the Polish Parliament. The project is supervised by the Malopolskie Cultural Center Sokol in Nowy Sacz and prepared in cooperation with several cultural institutions, like Krakow Opera, the regional groups Skalni and Nowa Huta, and Barus Obrochta Folk Group from Zakopane. “Harnasie,” a ballet in three scenes for tenor solo, choir and orchestra is one of the most magnificent achievements of the composer’s output. The work was finished in 1931 after taking eight years to complete.

The origins of music and libretto of “Harnasie” is connected with composer’s fascination with the folklore of the mountainous Tatra region in southern Poland, the Highlanders’ customs, dances and songs. Szymanowski visited this area many times, renting a mountain house in Zakopane, which became in those days a center of tourism but above all a favored retreat for many artists.The first performance, September 7, will take place in Zakopane on the top of Gubalowka Hill.

This is the exact place where Karol Szymanowski together with the author of libretto, Jerzy Rytard located the action of the ballet. The simple plot of “Harnasie” centers around a mountain girl’s love for a leader of highland robbers, who abducts her from her wedding to a rich mountaineer and they both elope into the mountains.The Krakow performance will be presented in the old quarry of Bednarski Park in Podgorze district.

The third performance will take part September 14 in Moscickie Cultural Center in Tarnow and the last one on September 15 in Nowy Sacz by Dunajec River. Among the 100 performing artists we will have the opportunity to watch the dancers-soloists: Sabina Szybka, Jaroslaw Swiatek and Tomasz Szaro and to listen to the Orchestra and Choir of Krakow Opera conducted by Tomasz Tokarczyk. The tenor role will be performed by Tomasz Kuk. The author of staging is Boguslaw Nowak.

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