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Me, Alicja

Welcome to my website.

There are millions of opera singers… Everyone of them wants their website to be special and unique. What about me? Me too!

My website is extraordinary because it is very personal. You will find there information about me, what I do, who I am and also about art, life, children, art education, helping others, pleasures of life…- things I live for.

Yours,

Alicja Wegorzewska

Miss Polski 2011a

Since my childhood instead of mooning I have chosen to fulfill my dreams. Once I dreamed of a career as a pianist I attended the School of Music and I started learning to play the piano. However, I did not choose to be a virtuoso. Onegin in Tchaikovsky’s opera sings the following line: “Young girls often change the subject of their dreams”. I confirm that as it happened to me. When I started singing in a school choir I realized that I want to express myself with songs. Due to that, I started vocal studies in Academy of Music in Gdańsk which I graduated from in Warsaw.

 

The beginning

I belong to one of the first generations which were free to choose a place to develop their career: in the country or abroad. Firstly, I chose German speaking countries. I made my debut in Viennese Kammeroper in Gluck’s “The Pilgrim from Mecca”. My first professional engagement was in Neue Oper Wien. In 1999 I won the first prize in the contest in Rheinsberg. The prize was a participation in the world’s premiere of Siegfried Matthaus’s opera “Kronprinz Friedrich”. The premiere was broadcast live on German radio. The production was also shown in Bayreuth and many other German cities including Hanover during EXPO 2000 world’s fair. I was a participant of a prestigious Festival of Early Music in Innsbruck, Donaufestwochen in Vienna and I also took part in gala on the 750th anniversary of Breda city. I sang with Frankfurt Ensemble Modern conducted by Markus Stenz and with Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Rolf Reuter. I also performed in prestigious halls such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam or Konzerthaus in Berlin. It was time when I learned a lot from the best, and when I gained experience on stage. Luckily, we don’t live in times when once we decide for a career in the west there is no coming back to the country. Similarly to my colleagues, my career develops here and there.

Diva for Rent Jaka ze mnie Diva! alicja.wegorzewska zwierciadlo Sylwester Polsat 2009 - Warszawa

Roles

My beloved role? Carmen. It goes without saying. A free woman who decides about herself and materializes dreams which is- as you remember- very important to me. I sang in a lot of stagings of “Carmen” and every time I discovered something new about this character. It is a matter of life experience… Now my Carmen is completely different than few years ago. In Bizet’s opera I sang in my hometown- Szczecin, in Silesian Opera in Bytom, in the Grand Theater in Łódź (I toured Holland with this band) and in our most important theater – the National Opera in Warsaw. The memory of “Carmen” sung in the capital city of Moldova- Chisinau was especially nice. There my partners were soloists from The Mariinsky Theatre in Petersburg. Such partners boost energy and affect my ambition. That was unforgettable “Carmen”!

I sing a mezzo-soprano. It means that I often play the male roles (in 18th and 19th century composers wrote their operas in such a way and the audience loved that; there was something of travesty show in that). Thus, I was Orpheus in Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice” (Krakow Opera), an aristocratic teenager- Octavian in Strauss’s “The Knight of the Rose” (Baltic Opera in Gdansk), Siebel unhappily in love with Małgorzata in Gounod’s “Faust” (the performance of the Grand Theater in Warsaw directed by Robert Wilson).

The role of a repulsive biddy- countess in Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades” was a big challenge for me. I worked on this role with remarkable directors- Mariusz Treliński in the Grand Theater in Warsaw and Krzysztof Nazar in Krakow Opera. I gained a lot of artistic satisfaction from playing the role of tragic Lucrece in “The Rape of Lucrece by Britten. I have faced this party twice so far: in Krakow Opera and Baltic Opera (performance of the year 2008). I regret having sung only Santuzza from Mascagni’s “Rustic Chivalry” (Opera in the Castle in Szczecin). But everything is ahead of me! I also sang Olga in “Eugene Onegin” (Gdansk), the voice of the mother in Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann” (Warsaw) and many other roles.

Special events

It happens that I often take part in special events especially solemn ones. It is an opportunity to present yourself to the audience different from opera and to perform with great artists. It was like that in Vienna where at Kofi Annan’s request I gave a performance on the birth of 6-billionth Earth citizen. I had a chance to sing among “giants” of the opera world such as Fiorenza Cossotto or my beloved Grace Bumbry (beloved not only because of her singing but also her personality). In 2010 I was invited by one of the greatest (and the most beautiful) soprano of the modern times Katia Riccarelli for the concert on 40th anniversary of her work. I sang in famous Venetian La Fenice (if you happen to be in Venice, definitely visit it). In 2009 I participated in production of Wagner’s “The Rhine Gold” conducted by Jan Latham Koenig on 100th anniversary of the Forest Opera and reactivation of Wagner Festival (may it revive!).

Inauguracja Roku Chopinowskiego na Węgrzech

Year 2010, the Year of Chopin was important to me. I recorded then all Chopin’s songs for Hungaroton Classic and Fuzeau Classique together with outstanding Hungarian virtuoso Alex Szilasi. In Budapest I commenced celebration of the Year of Frederic Chopin in Hungary. Also, I ended it with concerts in New York (in ONZ headquarters and in Yamaha Hall), in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. In recent years Kuwait and Qatar have become an artistic travel destination. I gave there recitals and in 2010 I organized and directed “Carmen” featuring Tomek Kuka as Don Jose and Adam Szerszeń as Torreador. Arabia is a completely different world to which I willingly go back not only because of the work.

Outside the opera house

I don’t want to close opera art even in the most beautiful theaters and halls. The world is changing and the opera has problems to find its place. Owing to that, I proudly represent it to a large audience in media. Therefore, I participated in TV shows such as “Śpiewające fortepiany”, “Jaka to melodia”, “Kocham Cię Polsko”, “Ona i On”, and opera duets “Jak oni śpiewają”. I welcomed the New Year with Polsat viewers many times by performing live in the Old Town Market in Cracow and on Constitution Square in Warsaw. In 2009 I played a role in TV series “Dom nad rozlewiskiem”. I was there the opera singer Joanna. I hope that people who rather avoid opera will become familiarized with it thanks to monodrama “Diva for Rent” directed by Jerzy Snakowski which was written for me (the premiere in Polonia Theater in Warsaw in May 2011).

Slider - Alicja Wegorzewska-Whiskerd 8

I have already mentioned that one of my achievements is an album with Chopin songs.
I’m also proud of another record which is music for “Wiedźmin” for which I received a gold record. But this project was important for me because of some other reason. Thanks to it, I could meet wonderful and unusual Grzegorz Ciechowski, the author of the soundtrack.

Diva on construction site

Although being an artist involves sharing with others, it is not devoid of egoism. Even the fact that I perform alone and thousands of people look at me is enough to become self-congratulatory. When I felt that this was going to happen to me, I decided to give more of myself to others. I dreamed of fixing the world with art education which almost did not exist in our country. Once I dreamed, I did that. I started Start Smart Foundation. There is also a kindergarten focused on art education which is under the auspices of the foundation. Do you think the kindergarten is all I can do? No! Currently, we are constructing (metaphorically and literally) music school in the town of Wilanow. My inspiration is children’s fate and education. I must admit that the person who has especially encouraged me is my daughter Amelia.

Who am I then? I ask myself this question when I stand in the queue in the office to obtain a building permit, when I talk to parents of children from kindergarten, when I do my make-up during ride for TV recording, when I have stage fright five minutes before the curtain raises in La Fenice, when I practise singing not only aria but also… weather forecast in radio Zet, or when I pick up my child from the school, and when I sing Chopin in Polish for Arabs and diplomatic corps.

I do not know how to define Alicja Węgorzewska…

 

Cannes 1