15th Ars Cameralis Kraków Chamber Opera Summer Festival

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Embroidered corsets, floral skirts and hats topped with peacock’s feathers – the Kraków Chamber Orchestra inaugurates its 15th Ars Cameralis Festival with the dazzling spectacle Cracovians, Cracovians (22, 29 July). Featuring folk songs and ballads celebrating love, marriage, feasts, shepherds and the harvest from across Małopolska, the event forms a part of the celebrations of the centenary of Poland’s independence.
Next month, Ars Cameralis features three comedy operas: Telemann’s Pimpinone returning in a full stage setting after the success of the concert version in April (4 August), Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne (18 August) and Pergolesi’s La serva padrona (25 August). On 11 August, the festival departs from its usual venue at Miodowa Street: the Church of the Conversion of St. Paul resounds with the stage misterium Ich geh’ und suche based on Bach’s cantatas. (Barbara Skowrońska)

22, 29 July 2018, 7pm
Cracovians, Cracovians

4 August 2018, 7pm
Pimpinone

11 August 2018, 8pm, Church of Missionary Priests
Ich geh' und suche

18 August 2018, 7pm
Bastien und Bastienne

25 August 2018, 7pm
La serva padrona

Pimpinone was brought to life by the composer Georg Philipp Telemann and librettist Johann Philipp Praetorius. The story is as old as the world itself: Vespetta the chambermaid wheedles her way into marrying her employer, old Pimpinone. Once married she shows her waspish nature (the name Vespetta means "little wasp") and completely dominates her husband…

Bastien und Bastienne is an idyllic tale of love, a one-act singspiel, penned by young Mozart. Bastienne, suspecting that her beloved Bastien was cheating on her, asks for help soothsayer Colas, which leads to a confrontation between the lovers... Youthful work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was composed in 1768, allegedly at the request of the famous Viennese doctor - hypnotist Anton Mesmer as a satire of the 'pastoral' genre then prevalent, and specifically as a parody of the opera Le devin du village by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Opera buffa La serva padrona (The Servant Turned Mistress) with libretto by Gennaro Antonio Federico belongs to the most famous works of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. It is a kind of apologue, or moral fable, about female shrewdness which eventually allows women to get the better of men. In the plot, a servant tricks her master into marrying her. However, the servant really does love the man, which softens the story’s underlying cynicism.

The musical matter of the stage mystery Ich geh’ und suche by the Kraków Chamber Opera is based on music from cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, starting with BWV 155: Mein Gott wie lang, ach lange, to BWV 103, 32 to BWV 49 Ich geh' und suche mit Verlangen. The vocal and instrumental parts are complemented by spoken dialogues took from the biblical Book of Psalms.

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