musical play


Libretto by “Ballads and romances” by Adam Mickiewicz
Music: Old songs of Kresy Wschodnie


Design:  Piotr Kossakowski


Musical and poetic journey to the Nowogródek (Navahrudak), to the Świteź lake, to the heart of Lithuanian woods, where the beautiful daemons of Świteż, Rusalkas and Dziwożonas, lurk for the travellers. The romantic "Ballads and Romances" of Adam Mickiewicz mixed with original music and singing present their new face. The music - created as contrafactum, based on the old songs from Kresy Wschodnie, from the areas of Nowogródek, Lida, Vilnius, Kaunas and Volyn, coming from Oskar Kolberg`s collection; it also encompasses the compositions of Stanisław Moniuszko, songs from the Seklucjan`s hymnbook with texts by Andrzej Trzecieski and Mikołaj Rej, song from Jan of Lublin`s organ tablature and 19-century salon dances: polka and waltz.


Written, directed, choreography, musical arrangement: Jadwiga Leśniak–Jankowska
Development of vocal and accompaniment: Oleg Sznicar
Set design and costumes: Joanna Jaśko–Sroka

Water Nymphs:
Martyna Malcharek, Dominika Przetocka, Anna Warchał, Urszula Sadowińska – Pardyak, Wiktoria Zawistowska-Tyliba

Andrzej Michalski



fot. Paweł Zechenter


To celebrate the first season of cooperation with Niepołomice municipality Krakow Chamber Opera has staged ‘Świtezianki’.

The script, direction, choreography, stage and musical arrangment are all work of Jadwoga Leśniak-Jankowska. There are no redundant elements in her production – even gestures and looks are measured. Her ‘Świtezianki’ is a combination of poetry, music, dance and song.

The evanescence of improvisation combined with the solid logic of its construction is the most charming quality of this play. Everything builds up to form a an artful, musical and poetic morality play.


Wanda Ryszkiewicz

Dziennik Polski

3rd July 2006


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A Subtle Beginning

The first artistic season marked by cooperation of Krakow Cameral Opera with the municipality of Niepołomice. This exceptional Krakow theatre and musical company has staged many spectacles together with the local culture centre. Each of them has been different in its character, while all have been very well prepared. Not only the musical side of those performances was excellent – they can also boast of having great choreographics and stage design.

First there have been two stagings at local church in Niepołomice: ‘Stabat Mater’ and ‘Old Polish Pastorals’. Then, this time at the Royal Castle, there has been a premiere showing of light and airy, early Baroque opera ‘Satiro e Corsica’. Following those, ‘Zapomniane bramy’ (‘The Forgotten Gates’), an ingenuine and masterfully performed spectacle has been staged. Young musicians and singers have performed old Yiddish songs and played the newly arranged traditional Jewish melodies.

Just before the summer vacation the artists have bid their farewell to the Niepołomice audience with ‘Świtezianki’ –  a poetic and musical tale of romantic, mysterious world created by Adam Mickiewicz in ‘Ballady i romanse’ (‘Ballads and romanzas’). The authentic songs and melodies of Eastern borderlands has added to its charm.


Wanda Ryszkiewicz

Dziennik Polski Niepołomice

8th July 2006


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Magic has been the main theme of ‘Świtezianki’, a musical spectacle staged by Krakow Chamber Opera. It resembled an intricate, Baroque embroidery, similar in its refinement to ‘Livietta e Tracollo’. At the same time it was shrouded in melancholy and mysterious, eerie sweetness.

‘The world of romantic fantasy, the fascinating, timeless relation between spirituality and physical matter invite us to reflect upon the timeless issues which are still relevant –   fault, punishment, conscience and responsibility for one’s deeds. In every element of nature there is a hidden  mystery, sometimes a danger. The real world mingles with fictional events and characters.’ – explains Jadwiga Leśniak-Jankowska, director, choreographer and author of the script inspired by ‘Ballady i romanse’ by Adam Mickiewicz.

New meanings and forms of expression  are visible in the way musical material, which was composed specially for this occassion, is linked with the traditional, largely outdated lyrics of folk songs from the eastern borderlands.

There are also compositions by Moniuszko and 19th century chamber pieces like polka or waltz. The Narrator-Traveller is an alter ego of the poet, played in a distinct manner by Paweł Kumięga. Seven water nymphs, which were portrayed by beautifully harmonious sopranos, could also be heard during the performance.


Gabriella Buzzi
„SIPARIO”, January 2009