Karol Szymanowski completed his only operetta, entitled Lottery for Husbands or Fiance No. 69, in 1909. After nearly a hundred years, in 2007 the Krakow Opera gave the world premiere performance, which was professionally recorded and released on DVD. On March 27, it became available (with English subtitles) on the official YouTube channel of the Krakow Opera, so that audiences could experience it without leaving home.
The three-act libretto of Lottery comprised spoken text and lyrics linking the scenes with musical pieces. Unfortunately, only the sung lyrics of Szymanowski’s original were preserved. The new theater concept and plot proposed by Wojciech Graniczewski is his own original piece of drama, created for the operetta’s first performance using the original lyrical and musical material. The work consists of 16 numbers composed by Szymanowski using all the rules of a classical operetta. We find here a melodic waltz, romantic duets, funny couplets and an extensive finale with dances and choir.
According to Teresa Chylińska, the world’s foremost expert on Szymanowski’s work who cooperated with the Krakow Opera on this production:
It most certainly aroused Szymanowski’s curiosity about the play of form, and set him on the path of playing with elements of grotesque, humor, pastiche, parody, the old world and the new. He furnished the play with vivid, unconventional music, and filled it with handcrafted musical characters, all immersed with the un-tameable mobility of dance.”
For more information, visit opera.krakow.pl.