Preloader Operavision
Katarzyna Zalewska | Poznań Opera
20.09.2019 at 19h00 CET
Friday, September 20, 2019 - 19:00

Poznań Opera


A cruel parable of human loneliness.

Operas | Moniuszko

In the Polish highlands, a sensitive peasant girl has given her heart and body to a rich landowner. But now he plans to marry someone else.


Moniuszko’s romantic tragedy of mésalliance and social tension is regarded as one of the finest operas in the Polish repertoire. Poznań Opera performs their production on the giant stage of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw as guests of Polish National Opera.

Sung in Polish 

Subtitled in English, French and German with possibility of auto-translation into 114 other languages.

Available from
20.09.2019 at 19h00 CET

Available until
19.03.2020 at 23h59 CET

HalkaMagdalena Nowacka
JontekPiotr Friebe
JanuszŁukasz Goliński
StolnikRafał Korpik
ZofiaMagdalena Wilczyńska-Goś
DziembaDamian Konieczek
MountaineerBartłomiej Szczeszek
ChorusMariusz Otto

MusicStanisław Moniuszko
ConductorGabriel Chmura
DirectorPaweł Passini
Set DesignerZuzanna Srebrna
Lighting DesignerPrzemysław Sieraczyński
ChoreographerWeronika Pelczyńska
Chorus MasterMariusz Otto
Video DesignerMaria Porzyc

Act I

At an engagement party, guests raise their cups in honour of the happy couple: Janusz, 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. It turns out that he is Halka’s lost love, and that he once promised to marry her but then disappeared. Away from the guests, he cradles and kisses her, and arranges to meet her in the evening.

Act II

Halka believes in the sincerity of Janusz's feelings, and is happy that she has found a young master who is not afraid of falling in love with a peasant. She is approached by Jontek, who has been in love with her for years, and who accompanied her on her trip to the town, where he watched her fatal attraction to Janusz with bitterness. He tries to make Halka understand that she is dealing with an impostor. She becomes furious, her screams and cries drawing the attention of the guests. In front of them all, Janusz denies ever knowing her and orders both visitors to leave.


In the countryside, peasants rest after a long week of hard work. Suddenly, they see a disturbing sight. Is it Jontek bringing Halka home, the girl dishevelled and with madness in her eyes. The boy explains why she has broken down and becomes increasingly exasperated by her foolish infatuation. Halka has discovered that she is pregnant and tells her story as if in a hypnotic trance: she sees herself as a dove whose wings of innocence have been broken by Janusz’s infidelity. She cannot help but weep as she sees the wedding party appears on the horizon.

Act IV

Jontek has mixed feelings about Halka. He still loves her but is horrified at how naïve she has been. Janusz and Zofia arrive with their guests and take congratulations from the peasants before heading to the village church for the wedding. Zofia notices one girl who is terribly upset and is sure that she has seen her somewhere before. Janusz admits that Halka is the person who interrupted their engagement party and that he once used her for his own entertainment. Before Zofia can ask him any more questions he whisks her into the church. Halka is heartbroken to see that Janusz is going through with the marriage. She has lost her baby and feels completely alone. In a fit of rage, she decides to burn down the church. Realising that she cannot bring herself to kill Janusz, she changes her mind and, in despair, throws herself into the river.