The Konrad Swinarski Award for the best director of the 2014/15 theatre season has been given to Andrzej Chyra. The jury chose Chyra for his work on The Magic Mountain, an opera by Paweł Mykietyn, to a libretto by Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk and stage design by Mirosław Bałka. The opera was created at the initiative of Malta Festival Poznań, and premiered during the twenty-fifth edition of the festival. Moreover, the monthly magazine Teatr has also honoured Paweł Mykietyn for the opera The Magic Mountain and for music for other theatre productions.
Teatr is the oldest Polish magazine dedicated to contemporary theatre. The award winners for the 2014/15 season were chosen by a jury comprising Jacek Cieślak, Łukasz Drewniak, Jacek Kopciński (chairman), Jolanta Kowalska, Wojciech Majcherek and Kalina Zalewska. The Aleksander Zelwerowicz Awards for best acting in the 2014/15 season were given to Halina Rasiakówna for her role as Maya Auserberger in Thomas Bernhard’s Wycinka/Holzfällen, directed by Krystian Lupa at Teatr Polski in Wrocław, and to Juliusz Chrząstowski for his role as Orcio in Paweł Demirski’s Nie-boska komedia. WSZYSTKO POWIEM BOGU!, directed by Monika Strzępka at Narodowy Stary Teatr in Kraków.
Since 1976, the Konrad Swinarski Award has been given to some of the greatest personalities in Polish theatre, including Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Grotowski, Krystian Lupa, Jerzy Grzegorzewski, Grzegorz Jarzyna and Krzysztof Warlikowski. Apart from Andrzej Chyra, this year’s nominees were Ewelina Marciniak for the directing of Portret damy, based on Henry James’ novel The Portrait of a Lady, and Monika Strzępka for the directing of Nie-boska komedia. WSZYSTKO POWIEM BOGU!.
Andrzej Chyra is a graduate of the Acting Department and Directing Department of the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. He made his directing debut with Z dziejów alkoholizmu w Polsce in 1994, but is best known to the wider audience for his film roles, for instance in Dług (The Debt), Komornik, Wszyscy jesteśmy Chrystusami and Zmruż oczy. Chyra directed his first opera, the critically acclaimed The Gamblers by Dmitri Shostakovich and Krzysztof Meyer, in 2012, at the Baltic Opera in Gdańsk.
The previous winners of the Teatr Special Award have included Jerzy Radziwiłowicz, Andrzej Łapicki, Danuta Szaflarska and Jerzy Jarocki. Paweł Mykietyn is the first composer to win this accolade. He has composed music for numerous plays directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, and has been commissioned to compose by the Grand Theatre – National Opera, Polskie Radio and the Warsaw Autumn Festival. Since 2008, he has been the music director at Nowy Teatr in Warsaw. As a theatre music composer, he has also worked with directors like Piotr Cieślak, Paweł Łysak and Grzegorz Jarzyna.
The Magic Mountain is a coproduction of the Malta Festival Poznań, the Krakow Festival Office, Polskie Radio Program 2 and the Baltic Opera in Gdańsk. It will be possible to see a performance of the opera on 19 September, at the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Kraków. We will inform you about the subsequent dates of The Magic Mountain performances in the Malta newsletter and on Facebook, whereas in the meantime, we would like to invite you to watch a short film about the making of The Magic Mountain which features fragments of the opera.