Once upon a time, Polish composer Stanisław Moniuszko (1819-1872) was known – if he was known at all – chiefly for his opera The Haunted Manor . However, his reputation has been on the rise of late with his Italian opera, Paria , winning Best Rediscovered Work at the 2021 International Opera Awards (directed by the late Graham Vick at the Poznań Opera House). Recent recordings include a fine Halka on Naxos recorded live in November 2019, again at Poznań, conducted by the late Polish Israeli maestro Gabriel Chmura.

Halka

Although Moniuszko wrote nearly a dozen operettas and nine completed operas, it is Halka – written between 1847 and 1848 and revised in 1857 – that has held the stage most effectively (though mostly in Poland). Written to a libretto by Włodzimierz Wolski, a young radical poet from Warsaw with a socio-political agenda, the music combines an Italian bel cantolyricism with, here and there, the dance rhythms of Polish folk music....