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Carmina Burana
Opera Krakowska,Wawel Castle Krakow


On a summer evening, pouring with rain, the audience sat in their waterproof ponchos in the colonnaded courtyard of Krakow's impressive castle and were transported to a place of springtime, celebration and wonderful music.

The extensive corps de ballet of the opera performed so beautifully it was easy to forget the inclement weather. The chorus of the Krakow Opera gave all their prodigious talents to carrying off this music with its catchy tunes and lyrical melodies, though fortunately they were under cover, as was the large orchestra of the opera under the baton of the Musical Director of this world class production the exciting Conductor, Tomasz Tokarczyk.

It was a truly magical performance with Soprano Katarzyna Oles-Blacha, Baritone Adam Kruszewski and Tenor Adam Sobierajski. The rich baritone voice of Kruszewski was the highlight of the evening for me and the haunting quality of Oles-Blancha, whose high notes hung in the air, was magnificent. I felt that the tenor's higher notes were a little tight and perhaps he was over-singing slightly to compensate. It must be very difficult singing when rain is deadening the atmospheric reverb.

The lighting and multi media design by Dariusz Pawelec made a fantastic contribution to the scenic character of the evening, setting a visually stunning performance that will live in my memory. The thrilling music of Carl Orff was enhanced by the costumes designed by Bozena Pedziwiatr, and an enormous debt of gratitude is due to the choreographer Emil Wesolowski who brought the medieval poems and songs to life, with expert and colourful flag waving that would not have been out of place at the Palio in Siena Italy and the company's inventive and energetic dancing.

It was a really special evening in a marvellous setting before a huge audience undeterred by rain and a tribute to the whole opera company that they did not let the bad weather spoil our experience of this classical masterpiece.

Anytime you get a chance to visit this fascinating city of Krakow do seek out the Opera Krakowska.