ABOUT THE INSTITUTE

 

THE OPERA INSTITUTE

On 3 November 2009, in the Opera Hall at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, following the initiative of Prof. Ryszard Peryt, the first meeting of Rectors and Deans with Lecturers and Students of all three artistic universities of Warsaw (National Academy of Dramatic Art, University of Music and Academy of Fine Arts) was held. It inaugurated the activity of the OPERA INSTITUTE. As part of that collaboration, numerous projects were created, uniting dozens of students and teachers under that name, offering opportunities to future opera creators and building the enormous capital of their skills or interests.
The OPERA INSTITUTE is Poland and Europe’s unique academic, teaching and research platform connected with operatic element understood as a specific type of continuation of the ideas of ancient Greece. It unites students and professors of numerous universities around the opera territory understood that way – its sources, history, language, tools and skills, and it prepares future creators – practitioners and theoreticians for working at… the musical score theatre. The OPERA INSTITUTE refers to the best traditions of the European camerata phenomenon. Its identity foundation is the noble European Camerata Fiorentina tradition and the sensible native tradition of Collegium Nobilium. Our name, the OPERA INSTITUTE [institutum – arrangement, tradition, intention, learning, method; opera – work, deed, service], also constitutes our identity and mission, whereas COLLEGIUM NOBILIUM [collegium – association, union, brotherhood; nobilium – noble, prominent, aristocratic], founded by Stanisław Konarski [1740] on Miodowa Street, as the Collegium Nobilium Theatre of the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, is our home, theatre and heart of the Academy and the OPERA INSTITUTE. Many years and ways of collaboration of Warsaw’s three artistic universities – University of Music, Academy of Fine Arts, and National Academy of Dramatic Art – known for the last seven years as the OPERA INSTITUTE will mark the new foundation act [also in a formal and legal sense] of the specific triumvirate of artistic institutions of higher education. The OPERA INSTITUTE is a metaphysical laboratory of the great triad of modern theatre: Harlequin’s Theatre [commedia dell’arte], Prospero’s Theatre [theatre in theatre] and Orpheus’ Theatre [dramma per musica]. While examining the sources of theatre, it searches for its contemporary vividness, it searches for the music score theatre, and the MUSIC SCORE THEATRE... is the INDIGENT OPERA.
The aim of the Institute is expanding the knowledge and skills of theatre students and teachers and deepening the understanding of the essence of opera (work, service). As part of the developed projects, the Institute unites creators and theoreticians of various areas of art. Fully experiencing opera and acquiring the skills to work in a group creating it are only possible thanks to this synthesis. The Institute is a creative laboratory in which, like in the Florentine Camerata, broadening the knowledge and skills of opera lovers takes place. Integration around the field of opera has the widest possible reach, engaging into collaboration with departments of various schools and also considering international cooperation.
The Institute is an inter-university unit attached to the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in collaboration with the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. As part of subsequent projects initiated within specific time frames, students and professors invited to participate in them perform assigned tasks. Each project concludes with a performance or seminar. Basic tasks of the Institute are stage performances. As part the widened formula of working on them (i.e., widened by research, academic and teaching activity), the mission of the Institute is fulfilled in the best way. Thematic seminars are connected with stage performances.
Annually, the Institute implements two main projects/tasks:
1. Performance STUDY, which is at the same time the exam of students of the Directing Department and which constitutes of a few fragments of a selected operatic piece directed subsequently by a few directors. It features soloists/choir members from the FCUM. Accompaniment is limited to the piano.
2. DIPLOMA performance of a selected student of the Directing Department, which is a full-time opera performance with an orchestra and singers.

Apart from directors, singers and scenographers, the teaching process connected with the Institute’s projects also covers other fields of knowledge. In the last seven years of its activity so far, the Institute’s collaborators were students at the Acting Department of the NADA, Instrumental Department of the FCUM, Faculty of Design of the AFA (specialty of Costume Design), Warsaw School of Arts (Stage Make-up), Art. Studio (Stage Make-up and Visage), Theatre Studies Department of the NADA, Department of Sound Engineering of the FCUM, or Warsaw Film School.
The Institute’s research activity is open to the wide area connected with old manuscripts, which need to be discussed and analysed. Thanks to the preparation of performances of old opera works, previously unknown pieces are learnt about and described. New libretti and their translations as well as scores and recordings can be published. Basic element of the Institute’s academic activity are seminars, which include presentation of research work, lectures of specialists in a given field and a general conference of theoreticians and practitioners. An open formula of debate allows for wide participation of different groups of interest.