I found fascinating even the very course of events bringing the work into existence. The director, and the author of the libretto, was inspired to create this opera-serenata (with a spoken text) by the “Renaissance Music in Naples” long play, once a legend in the circles of early music, performed by Hesperion XX, an ensemble of Jordi Savall and his wife, Montserrat Figueras, a soprano, and by a newspaper article presenting Ana de Mendoza y de la Cerda, a beautiful Spaniard woman with blindfold over her eye, who had to marry Ruy Gómez de Silva when she was only 12. Fred Apke decided to take together the sad story of Donna Ana and Catalonian, Sephardic and Spanish songs of the Golden Age.
We are guests at Donna Ana’s birthday party (Marta Klubowicz), who wants to remind her husband (Jan Monczka) the story of Teresica (Iwona Socha), a beautiful Jewess, full of suffering and passion. Raped by her brother, derided by neighbours and sold as wife to an old tailor, she finally fell in love with Miguel (Krzysztof Kozarek), a soldier, became pregnant by him, but the child was born dead ... and for the sin she committed, she would be severely punished.
In the dramatic layer, "Teresica" is dominated by Marta Klubowicz, an excellent actress, not seen in theatres for a long time (she also translated the libretto), whose performance of Donna Ana is both heartbreaking and expressive. She managed to create the full-blooded character of a genuinely Shakespearian heroine. Vocally, it was a great success of Iwona Socha, who perfectly handled Renaissance songs, singing in Old French, Catalan and Old Italian. Bożena Pędziwiatr conjured up a beautiful garden – the artists perform in a palace patio, festooned with plants and flowers, like in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and with Arabic mosaics. She also designed beautiful costumes, and especially the dress, designed meticulously, thanks to which Marta Klubowicz has a truly royal look.
We should also express special recognition to Mikołaj Blajda, the author of arrangement, and to Zygmunt Magiera (Fernando), the musical director of the play, who conducted the supporting quintet and trained the coir of 11 voices. It has turned out that in the Krakow Opera musicians can play early music instruments and the choir can dance to the cheerful final chaconne (choreography by Romana Agnel).
I am truly bewitched by 'Teresica' by Apke because of its beauty, the sad story it tells and simplicity.