The headline event of the festival was the world premiere of the opera The Magic Mountain by Paweł Mykietyn, with a libretto by Małgorzata-Sikorska Miszczuk, stage design by Mirosława Bałka, directed by Andrzej Chyra.
According to Jacek Marczyński, a critic from Rzeczpospolita, The Magic Mountain is “the first Polish opera masterpiece of the 21st century” (...) “There hasn’t yet been such a coherent and consistent piece which would set the Polish opera on a new path. But The Magic Mountain wouldn’t have had such an impact, if it wasn’t for its outstanding team of performers selected by the composer: the six-person choir, and the soloists including the vocally phenomenal Agata Zubel (the American), the domineering Jadwiga Rappe (Mrs Stöhr), the mysterious Urszula Kryger (Naphta), the lyrical Barbara Kinga Majewska (Kławdia), as well as the tenors Karol Kozłowski and Juan Novala-Moro and the lead voices: Szymon Komasa (Hans), Szymon Maliszewski (Joachim) and Łukasz Konieczny (dr Behrens)”.
Stefan Drajewski, a critic from Głos Wielkopolski, wrote that the composer captured the essence of the world of the novel – the passing of time. “Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk wrote a magnificent libretto, which is a work of art in its ow right, focused first and foremost on the spirit and the ideas of Mann’s novel, rather than on the plot, which could be in no way fitted into a two-act opera”, adds the reviewer. “There is a feeling of having encountered a great work of art”, writes Dorota Szwarcman on her blog Co w duszy gra.
On 19 September The Magic Mountain will be staged on the Sacrum Profanum festival in Cracow, and later in Opera Bałtycka in Gdańsk.
The works of Thomas Mann have also inspired two other Malta premieres. Romeo Castellucci created for Malta a concert/installation Doctor Faustus, which “played intensely with space and the habits of the audience and drew on the sensuality of human cognition”, writes Stanisław Godlewski in Gazeta Wyborcza. Marcin Masecki, alluding to the wonderful description of the last of Beethoven’s sonata in Mann’s Doctor Faustus, performed the composer’s pieces in sound muffling headphones, thus announcing the premiere of his new album entitled The Last Sonatas of Beethoven published by Lado ABC. [listen to fragments on NINATEKA].