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Polish National Opera | Poznań Opera

Poznań Opera

Halka – 'Czemuż mnie w chwilach’

Extracts | Moniuszko

To celebrate Moniuszko's 201st birthday yesterday, here is a favourite aria from his opera Halka staged by Poznan Opera at a performance given at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw on 20 September 2019.

Act I. At an engagement party, guests raise their cups in honour of the happy couple: Janusz (Łukasz Goliński), a wealthy young landowner, and Zofia, the daughter of an even wealthier landowner. Halka, a simple peasant girl from one of the villages in Janusz's estate, is drawn to the party like a moth to a flame. Outside, she wails plaintively for her lost love, distracting the revellers. The kind-hearted Zofia asks Janusz to talk to the girl, hoping he will comfort her. Janusz breaks out in a cold sweat and, in this aria, sings of his trouble at seeing her again. It turns out that he is Halka’s lost love, and that he once promised to marry her but then disappeared.