Based in Tricity on the Polish Baltic Sea coast, the Baltic Opera Festival was founded at the initiative of the prominent Polish bass-baritone Tomasz Konieczny, who came up with the idea to use the remarkable space of the Forest Opera after he gave his first performance at the open-air amphitheatre in Sopot starring in Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold back in 2009. The Festival draws on the town’s pre-war opera festival traditions which earned Sopot the name of the Bayreuth of the North in the 1930s.
The first edition of the Baltic Opera Festival will take place in July 2023 on the stages of the Forest Opera in Sopot and the Baltic Opera in Gdańsk and feature a programme of new opera productions involving brilliant soloists, conductors and creatives from Poland and across the globe. The Festival also aspires to become a seedbed for international collaborations and diverse educational initiatives.
The 2023 Baltic Opera Festival gives a start to a recurring opera celebration geared towards European music lovers and the wider public. The artistic programme draws on the German repertoire and Polish operatic works. Apart from the main events, the Baltic Opera Festival includes a range of additional attractions, such as opportunities to meet the featured stars and participate in masterclasses.
The newly founded festival is organised by the Baltic Opera Gdańsk and the National Centre for Culture Poland.
The organization of the 1st edition of the Baltic Opera Festival was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
At its core, the Baltic Opera Festival follows from my dream of making full use of the wonderful possibilities and world-class potential of the Forest Opera in Sopot, an extraordinary open-air venue with a history dating back to 1909.
Tomasz Konieczny studied acting at the Łódź Film School, followed by vocal studies at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and the Carl Maria von Weber Dresden University of Music under Professor Christian Elßner. He specialises in German music. His extensive career has taken him to the world’s top stages, including: Oper Leipzig, Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Paris Opera, Carnegie Hall, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, National Theatre of Japan in Tokyo, or Bayreuth Festival. In 2019, at the request of the leadership of the Wiener Staatsoper, he received the highest professional award in the German-speaking opera world: the title of the Österreichischer Kammersänger. In 2022, in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the development of Polish culture, he was presented with the Gold Gloria Artis Medal for Merits to Culture by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland.