Karol Szymanowski’s elusive yet ever-successful opera, Król Roger [King Roger], took the stage once again at the Kraków Opera on April 28 and 30. Directed by Michal Znaniecki, the opera saw new staging changes as compared to other European productions. The resulting performances were deemed to be masculine and with a softened homosexual plot, though still a deep and moving production.
The performances garnered much attention with the charismatic and expressive Polish baritone, Mariusz Kwiecień, starring as the lead role. Kwiecień had previously received excellent reviews from the London premiere of King Roger, where Tomasz Cyz from Ruch Muzyczny magazine hailed Kwiecień as being “born for the part of King Roger, [where] – everything serve[d] the character created by Szymanowski and Iwaszkiewicz.”