The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

Fisher Center Events

Bard SummerScape Presents

Karol Szymanowski: Opera Double Bill

[Karol Szymanowski: Opera Double Bill] Image: Amzinybé by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1906. From Ciurlionis (Vaga, Vilnius, 1984).
Image: Amzinybé by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1906. From Ciurlionis (Vaga, Vilnius, 1984).
Summerscape and Bard Music Festival 2008 tickets are on sale now!

Click here to order tickets online or call (845)758-7900

Sung in Polish with English supertitles

Music by Karol Szymanowski
Scenario by Karol Szymanowski and Jerzy Rytard

King Roger (The Shepherd)
(Król Roger)
Music by Karol Szymanowski
Libretto by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz

Directed and designed by Lech
Choreographed by Noémie Lafrance
American Symphony Orchestra,
conducted by Leon Botstein,
music director
Wroclaw Opera Chorus
Summerscape Festival Children's Chorus

Considered by many the father of modern Polish classical music, Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937)—a friend and contemporary of Prokofiev—set philosophical issues to a glorious score in King Roger (The Shepherd), a 1926 opera of volcanic emotional and spiritual intensity. The titular character, an enlightened 12th-century Sicilian monarch, finds his authority challenged by a mysterious shepherd who preaches a gospel of erotic abandon. Seeing his queen and court seduced by this revolutionary credo, Roger angrily confronts the shepherd, only to experience a rapturous revelation that fuses his rational and sensual beings.


Preceding King Roger will be another rarely performed masterpiece—the 1931 pastoral dance Harnasie. Like his countryman, Frédéric Chopin, Szymanowski was inspired by Polish folk music—the Goral of the highlands. Harnasie tells the story of a reluctant peasant bride who falls in love with Harnas, an outlaw who leads a band of lusty mountain bandits. The transcendent score includes a massive choir and a tenor soloist, and is considered the crowning achievement of Szymanowski’s theatrical output.


July 25, 31, and August 2+ at 8 pm
July 27 and August 3 at 3 pm
Tickets: $25, 55, 75
Thursday Performance: $20, 45, 65


+ Round-trip transportation by coach from Columbus Circle to the Fisher Center will be provided for this performance. For information, please call 845-758-7900. Reservations are required.


Special support for this program is provided by Emily H. Fisher and the Polish Cultural Institute in New York and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland.



With Leon Botstein


July 27 at 1 pm

Free and open to the public

Opera Talks are presented in memory of Sylvia Redlick Green.

Image: Amzinybé by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1906. From
Ciurlionis (Vaga, Vilnius, 1984).


Ticket Information

Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater

This event occurred on:

Fri. July 25 – Sun. August 3


Please consider becoming a Friend of the Fisher Center and enjoy the many benefits of membership including invitations to exclusive events and access to special services.