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Szymanowski's "Lottery for Husbands" – YouTube premiere!


Karol Szymanowski completed his only operetta, entitled Lottery for Husbands or Fiance No. 69, in 1909. After nearly a hundred years, in 2007 the Kraków Opera gave the world premiere performance, which was professionally recorded and released on DVD. On 27 March 2020 at 6.30 p.m., it will be available (with English subtitles) on the official YouTube channel of the Kraków Opera, so that audiences could experience it without leaving home.

Karol Szymanowski reached for the operetta only once in his life. After composing Stabat Mater and King Roger, he wrote: "I can't be so festive all the time, it's very tiring. (...) I have to laugh a little musically." The three act libretto of Lottery comprised spoken text and lyrics linking the scenes together with musical pieces. Unfortunately, only the sung lyrics, written beneath the notes, have been preserved. The new theatre concept and plot proposed by Wojciech Graniczewski is his own original piece of drama, created for the operetta’s first performance, and incorporating, of course, the original lyrical and musical material.

Musically, 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 (including very fashionable at the time cake-walk) and choir. "It most certainly aroused Szymanowski's curiosity about the play of form, and set him on the path of playing with elements of grotesque, humour, 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 in an untameable mobility of dance." – wrote Teresa Chylińska, an expert on Szymanowski's work, cooperating with the Krakow Opera on this production.

More information at: https://www.opera.krakow.pl/en/