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Biography

Alicja

A singer, mezzo-soprano born in Szczecin. The graduate of a piano class in Secondary School of Music in Szczecin and of the Faculty of Voice and Drama in Academy of Music in Warsaw. She made her debut on stage of Viennese Kammeroper in Gluck’s opera “Die Pilger von Mekka”. Then she got engagement in Neue Oper Wien as well as in Theater an der Wien where at Kofi Annan’s request she gave a performance among mezzo-soprano stars such as Fiorenza Cossotto and Grace Bumbry during a concert on the birth of 6-billionth Earth citizen.

For winning the first prize of contest in Rheinsberg (1999), she performed in opera house in co-production with Deutsche Oper Berlin. She was main singer in the world’s premiere of Siegfried Matthus’s opera „Kronprinz Friedrich” directed by one of the greatest opera directors Goetz Friedrich and conducted by Rolf Reuter. The premiere was broadcast live on German radio. Her interpretation received excellent reviews. She toured Germany with this performance appearing in Bayreuth and in German exhibition hall during EXPO 2000 world’s fair in Hanover.

Her participation in many international festivals and opera galas included those during prestigious Festival of Early Music in Innsbrucku, Donaufestwochen in Vienna and also in gala on the 750th anniversary of Breda city. She sang with Frankfurt Ensemble Modern conducted by Markus Stenz and with Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Rolf Reuter. She cooperated with theaters in Vienna, Berlin, Bayreuth and Monte Carlo. She performed in prestigious halls such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam or Konzerthaus in Berlin. It’s worth mentioning that she gave performance during concert on 40th anniversary of work of Katia Ricciarelli in famous Venetian La Fenice (2010).

Alicja Węgorzeska quickly won recognition in the country. She played in the Grand Theater in Łódź the title role in Bizet’s opera Carmen. She toured Holland (Amsterdam, Rotterdam and famous Lucent Dance Theater) with this play. In Krakow Opera she sang Lucrece in Benjamin Britten’s „The Rape of Lucrece” and two other productions- Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice” (the role of Orpheus) and in Tchaikovsky’s „The Queen of Spades” (the role of Countess). In Warsaw Philharmonic she took part in a gala final performance of “ Lutosławski Awards” by singing a world premiere of songs awarded in this competition. On the stage of The Grand theater of National Opera in Warsaw she played title role in Tchaikovsky’s „The Queen of Spades” directed by Mariusz Treliński and conducted by Kazimierza Kord. In 2007 on the same stage she sang in Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann” as a voice of the mother (conducted by Tadeusz Kozłowski) and in Kurpińsky’s “Krakovians and Highlanders” as a Dorothy (conductor Łukasz Borowicz). There she also performed as Siebel in Gounod’s „Faust” directed by Robert Wilson and conducted by Gabriel Chmura.

On the stage of Opera in the Castle in Szczecin one could hear her in Santuzza’s role in Mascagniy’s “Rustic Chivalry” and in Bizet’s “Carmen”. On the stage of Baltic Opera Alicja Węgorzewska-Whiskered played the title role of Octavian in Rochard Strauss’ s “The Knight of the Rose”, which is considered to be one of the most difficult in mezzo-soprano repertoire, Olga’s role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (music director Jose Maria Florencio, stage design by Marek Weiss) and again a role of Lucrece in Britten’s opera (performance in 2008). Wiesław Ochman invited her to play a part of Carmen in his production in Silesian Opera in Bytom. This role which became her artistic card was also played on the stage of the Grand Theater of National Opera (2010) directed by Łukasz Borowicz. She was a guest of Hoffmanowsky’s Festival in Poznań and Opera Festival in Bydgoszcz.

In 2008 Alicja Węgorzewska gave a series of well-received recitals including those in Kuwait and Bahrain and concerts in Düsseldorf (Verdi’s Requiem). In 2009 she 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. During the same year she acted as Carmen and also in Final Gala of the International Opera and Ballet Festival Maria Biesu in Chisinau.

Year 2010 -the Year of Chopin was important to her career. Then she recorded all Chopin’s songs for Hungaroton Classic and Fuzeau Classique together with outstanding Hungarian virtuoso Alex Szilasi. In Budapest she commenced celebration of the Year of Frederic Chopin in Hungary and ended it with concerts in New York in Yamaha Hall) and also in Qatar. In December of the same year she directed “Carmen” for the first time and sang the title role in Kuwait and Bahrain.

She often takes part in special events, e.g. TVP2 presentation of Totus 2010 awards by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz.

She is the prize winner of Prometheus- the award of Polish stage (2007). She was engaged in recording of soundtrack for “Wiedźmin”-the movie for which she received a gold record.

Opera art is also promoted by her outside theaters and concert halls. She is often a media guest of TV programmes such as ”Śpiewające fortepiany”, „Jaka to melodia”, “Kocham Cię Polsko” or “Familiada”. The prizes she received thanks to them were given for charity. For three times she has welcomed the New Year with POLSAT viewers by performing live in the Old Town Market in Cracow and on Constitution Square in Warsaw. In 2009 she played a role of the opera singer Joanna in TV series “Dom nad rozlewiskiem”. She also became famous for being a charismatic and competent juror in “Bitwa na głosy”.

Alicja Węgorzewska-Whiskerd writes articles about opera. Moreover, she has established and run STARTSMART foundation which deals with child education and with development of their language and artistic potential. Her foundation runs nursery and kindergarten Aniołowo.

Year 2011 was very fruitful for Alicja Węgorzewska’s career. In June 2011 she debuted as a theatrical producer and drama actress in „Diva for rent”- an opera monodrama directed by Jerzy Bończak and with choreography prepared by Emil Wesołowski. A poster and theatrical scenery were designed by Rafał Olbiński. The performance received excellent reviews and was also shown in Szczecin- Polish Theater, in Olsztyn- Warmian-Masurian Philharmonic, in Gdynia- Municipal Theater and to commence a theatrical and musical season in the castle in Ostróda. Patronage was of The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Marshall of the Mazovian region while financial support was given by Warsaw Office of Culture.

Diva for rent” was translated into English („ Diva’s secrets”) and performed on the occasion of Polish Presidency in countries of Persian Gulf in the presence of international diplomatic corps and many distinguished guests. Performances were given in the most renowned concert halls- in Al Hashemi in Kuwait, Qatar Opera House in Qatar under the auspices of its Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and also in Abu Dhabi Theater. The monodrama received excellent reviews not only in English language newspapers but also in Arabic ones.

She was nominated for the monodrama and TV debut for “Róże Gali” award and also for judging in “Bitwa na głosy” for “Telekamery” award which turned out to be a missionary program promoting new talents.

 

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