Opera Nova, Bydgoszcz, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland

Opera NOVA in Bydgoszcz ranks among the most significant cultural institutions of the city as well as the region, in the broad sense of the word.

The local opera society originated in 1956 as an Opera Studio. September 21, 1956 marked the beginning of a new musical institution. At that time no-one expected that the Opera Studio would give birth to a state opera establishment, or that the subsequent efforts of local artists would lead to the foundation of an opera center, whose crowning achievement is a modern building under construction since 1973.

For many years the society had no stage of its own; until 1996 performances were staged at the ‘Polski’ Theatre in Bydgoszcz. At present, all artistic enterprises are conducted in the Opera NOVA building, which is still under construction and decoration in Marshall Ferdinand Foch Street. This is an impressive structure designed by two architects, Professor Józef Chmiel and Professor Andrzej Prusiewicz, which consist of three overlapping circles of different size picturesquely located in a meander of the Brda River near the Old Town.

The building has six floors with functional, modern rooms on all levels, from the large stage, its auditorium and foyer, through the chamber hall, orchestra rehearsal, ballet rehearsal and general halls, and the actor’s club, to the cloakrooms, storage rooms, stage control rooms, library, workshops and coaching rooms. The first circle, the largest, contains two halls: a chamber hall which seats 157 and a large hall with near-perfect acoustics, an auditorium for 803 people and an impressively vast stage (maximum depth 22 m, width 25 m), which along with its state-of-the-art machinery offers outstanding staging potential.

The considerable capabilities of the stage have found confirmation in the notable productions staged here in recent years. These include Nabucco , La Traviata , Il Trovatore , Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi, Tosca ,Madama Butterfly, La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini, Die Zauberflöte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach, Mephistophele by Arrigo Boito , Carmen by Georges Bizet, Gräfin Mariza and Die Csárdásfürstin by Kálmán, Hänsel und Gretel by Humperdinck , Der Zigeunerbaron and Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss, Lakmé by Delibes, La Gioconda by Ponchielli , L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti, Rusalka by Antonin Dvorak, Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci by Mascagni/Leoncavallo. Another performances: the ballets – Sommernachtsraum- bὕhnemusik zu Shakespeares Komedie by Mendelssohn, Le Cendrillon by Prokofiev ,The Captive Mind by Robert Bondara, Fascinations by Jorma Elo and Mauro de Candia -has recently met with approval, too. Also successful was the world premiere of Bogdan Pawłowski’s ballet Puss in Boots and The Magic Toys – the fairy-tale show aimed at children and staged by Bydgoszcz Opera Ballet ( this project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund within the Regional Operational Programme for Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship for the years 2007-2013 and the national budget of Poland/regional budget of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship).

Opera NOVA is a modern musical theatre that takes into consideration the preferences of highly diversified audiences. Although the mainstream repertoire comprises great opera and ballet works, the Bydgoszcz company also stages operettas and musicals. The theatre’s constant ambition is to attract outstanding producers; this is probably why the successive premieres of Opera NOVA have won considerable critical and public acclaim.

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