Lottery for Husbands, or Fiancé No. 69 holds a special place in Karol Szymanowski’s oeuvre. It is the only instance when the composer opted for the lighter genre of operetta. The original libretto and sung texts preserved in the score were penned by Szymanowski’s friend, Julian Krzewiński-Maszyński, a Lviv operetta artist and a sought-after author of many comic and operetta librettos. Unfortunately, the libretto of Lottery did not survive in full: the spoken dialogue linking the musical numbers together went missing. The Baltic Opera Festival’s production features newly written texts created by excellent dramaturge and scriptwriter Wojciech Tomczyk. But that is not the only reason the staging is special. It will feature none other than Karol Szymanowski himself who is fully behind the premiere.
The plot is set in 1908 in America. A local car factory owner, Tobiasz Helgoland, has two sons, Charly and Darly. The bibulous rascals cross paths with a scheming impresario who travels across the country holding husband lotteries that attract the attention of old maids. Among those who turn up at one of the events is a Mrs Troodwood who buys a ticket for her unwed daughter, Sarah. Impressed by the girl, the roisterer Darly puts himself down for the lottery. Complications ensue but eventually the young couple develop feelings for each other and the whole affair ends in an engagement.
Libretto of spoken texts
Libretto of sung texts
Julian Krzewiński – Maszyński
Jarosław Staniek and Katarzyna Zielonka
Assistant Music Director
Joachim Kołpanowicz and Miłosz Korpol
Justyna Jarocka-Lejzak and Agnieszka Sztencel
Orchestra and Chorus of the Krakow Opera
Sherlock Holmes / Djep
Hercules Poirot / Tinker