The Grand Theater, established in the 1950s, is the biggest theater in Lodz, and a very well-known theater in Poland. There are many interesting plays here, and some of the country's most important actors perform under its roof. Different kinds of performances are held, ranging from operas to classical drama to ballet. It is also often the venue where various festivals and social events are organised. It was the place where Miss Poland 2008 finals were being held.
Teatr Wielki w Łodzi (The Grand Theater in Łódź) is an opera house in Łódź, Poland. It is specialising in opera, operetta and ballet. By the end of 2005 it had staged 240 premieres. The theatre is one of the most important operatic venues in Poland. Its director is Kazimierz Kowalski.
The house has staged works by composers of the past (including Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Verdi and Wagner) as well as contemporary figures (such as Krzysztof Penderecki and Bogdan Pawłowski). Its productions have travelled abroad throughout Europe and the United States. World-famous artists, such as Victoria de los Ángeles and Andrea Bocelli, have appeared on its stage. Directors who have worked there include Adam Hanuszkiewicz and Ryszard Peryt.
The Teatr Wielki, located on Plac Dąbrowskiego, is the second largest opera house in Poland and one of the largest in Europe, with an auditorium which can seat 1070 people. The building also host other events, such as New Year Balls and fashion shows. The most famous of these is the international film festival of the art of cinematography "Camerimage".
The first opera opening in Łódź was possible thanks to great efforts expended by the members of Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciół Opery (Friends of the Opera Association) - Władysław Raczkowski, Tomasz Kiesewetter and Mieczysław Drobner. The premiere of The Haunted Manor directed by Jerzy Merunowicz and conducted by Władysław Raczkowski took place on 18 October 1954 on the stage of Teatr Nowy in Łódź. It was the first show prepared by the company of the Lodz Opera, officially recognized by the National Council since 1 July 1954. Sabina Nowacka became the first general director and Mieczysław Drobner was the first artistic director.
On 1 January 1961, the opera was nationalized by a resolution of the National Council and a directive from 23 August 1966 changed its name to Grand Theater in Łódź. The building at Plac Dąbrowskiego became the home of the opera on 19 January 1967. The first general director of the theater was Stanisław Piotrowski and the first artistic director was Zygmunt Latoszewski. Bohdan Lotoczko, an outstanding musician and conductor, who was managing the theater from 1977 to 1979, combining the functions of the general and artistic director.
Since the very beginning of its activity, the Grand Theater has been the organizer and the host of an international event called Łódź Ballet Festival. The most eminent ballet companies of the world participated in the festival, including: Maurice Béjart's Ballet du XXe Siècle, Nederlands Dans Theater, Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, Ballet Rambert, Balet Nacional de Cuba Alicia Alonso, Batsheva Dance Company, Cullberg Ballet, Elisa Monte Dance Company, Boris Eifman's Ballet of St. Petersburg, John Neumeier's Ballet. Łódź Ballet Festival is held every other year.
The vast repertoire of the Grand Theater includes ballet and opera classics: Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Aida, Traviata, Carmen, The Magic Flute, The Nutcracker, but contemporary works also play an important part in the artistic program. Our theater hosted Polish premieres of Akhnaten by Philip Glass or The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Michael Nyman. This combination of tradition and modernity creates the unique character of the Grand Theater in Łódź.
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