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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Singers from 28 countries qualify for Warsaw vocal competition, Russians banned

11.05.2022 18:30
A total of 112 singers from 28 countries have qualified for the 11th International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition, which will be held at Warsaw's National Opera from June 6 to 11.
Audio
Stanisław Moniuszko
Stanisław MoniuszkoPolona

Stanisław Moniuszko was a leading 19th-century composer who is known as the father of Polish national opera.

His legacy includes a collection of more than 200 songs called Śpiewnik Domowy (Songbook for Home Use).

The annual International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition was started in 1992 by Polish soprano and opera director Maria Fołtyn.

Every three years, young artists from around the world gather in Warsaw to showcase their skills and abilities before a select group of music professionals.

For many the competition becomes a springboard to an international career, according to the competition's director, Beata Klatka.

This year Poles make up the largest group of contestants, followed by singers from Ukraine, Klatka said, adding that entrants from Russia had been banned.

“Russia’s war against Ukraine broke out during the auditions, and so, in consultation with the Ministry of Culture, we decided to exclude Russian musicians from this year's competition,” Klatka told a press conference in Warsaw.

The jury of this year's competition is expected to be joined by outstanding Polish soprano Izabela Kłosińska, baritone Mariusz Kwiecień, and internationally acclaimed opera singer Ewa Podleś.

Apart from leading musicians and singers, the competition jury will include managers of top international opera houses, such as the Polish National Opera in Warsaw, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Houston Grand Opera.

Past winners and finalists of the Moniuszko competition include world-renowned soprano Aleksandra Kurzak and countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński.

The competition’s repertoire includes works by Moniuszko as well as pieces by the likes of Fryderyk Chopin, Karol Szymanowski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Krzysztof Penderecki.

In 2019, The International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competiton joined the World Federation of International Music Competitions.

Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska has the story.

Click on the audio player above to listen.