The Wrocław Opera (Polish: Opera Wrocławska) is an opera company and opera house in the Old Town of Wrocław, Poland. The opera house was opened in 1841 and up to 1945 was named after the city's then German name, Oper Breslau.

Wrocław Opera
Opera Wrocławska
Wrocław Opera at night
Wrocław Opera at night
Address35 Świdnicka Street [pl]
OwnerInstytucja Kultury Samorządu Województwa Dolnośląskiego
Rebuilt1865 and 1871 (after a fire)
Years active1841–present
ArchitectCarl Ferdinand Langhans (1841)
Carl Johann Lüdecke [de] (1865)
Karl Schmidt (1871)


Interior of the Opera
Historical image from 1910

An Italian opera company was established in Breslau in 1725 by Antonio Maria Peruzzi, following a split with Antonio Denzio with whom he had collaborated in the Peruzzi-Denzio company at the Sporck theatre in Prague.[1] The Theater on the Cold Ashes was opened in 1755 by Franz von Schuch (1716–1764) and performed operas till his death in 1764.[2] His son, Schuch the younger, brought the first operas of Johann Adam Hiller to the Theodor Lobe's theatre in Breslau in 1770. His successor Johann Christian Wäser introduced more, including local Singspiel translations of works by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny.[3] In 1804 Abbé Vogler invited Carl Maria von Weber to conduct the Breslau Opera when he was only 18.[4][5] The opera house was constructed in 1841 to designs by Carl Gotthard Langhans, supervised by his son Carl Ferdinand. It was remodeled twice after fires in 1865 by Carl Johann Lüdecke [de] and 1871 by Karl Schmidt. After the first fire, Theodor Lobe in 1867 invited the young conductor Ernst Schuch (1846–1914) to begin his career at the theatre.

After World War I notable productions during the interwar years included Schönberg's Die glückliche Hand (1928). The music directors in this period included Franz von Hoesslin who was forced to leave the city, and Germany, in 1928.[6]

Polish period

Wrocław Opera at night on Świdnicka Street

Following the inclusion of Breslau into Poland in 1945, the Lower Silesian Opera made its inaugural performance in Polish Wrocław on September 8, 1945, with Stanisław Moniuszko's Halka directed by Stanislaw Drabik.[7] From 1945 to 1950 the building housed not only the Opera, but also theater, puppet theater and operetta performances. In 1997 the Director Ewa Michnik undertook the idea to use other venues during the complete rehab of the building (1997–2006). She created a series of mega-productions that took place around the city including the Centennial Hall, The National Museum courtyard and banks of the Oder River. This tradition became a trademark of Wrocław Opera and continues to this day. The super productions are famous for interesting surroundings, attractive decorations and guest actors. The Opera also organized Wagner festivals building on the tradition of Wagner's involvement with Wrocław Opera. The current repertoire of the Opera House includes Kot w butach (Puss in Boots) by Bogdan Pawłowski and Matka czarnoskrzydłych snów by Hanna Kulenty.[8]

In 2014, the opera house received 105,451 visitors.[9]

In 2017, Leszek Możdżer's opera Immanuel Kant based on the works of Thomas Bernhard premiered at the Wrocław Opera.[10]

Present-day administration


In July 2023, Tomasz Janczak was appointed the director of the Wrocław Opera, [11] and Michał Znaniecki was appointed artistic director.[12] The pair had been serving in these roles on an interim basis since March 2023, following the resignation of Halina Ołdakowska and Mariusz Kwiecień.[13] Adam Banaszak is the opera's music director.[14]



See also



  1. ^ The Opera Theater of Count Franz Anton von Sporck in Prague, p. 44, Daniel E. Freeman (1992). "The final outcome was the establishment of an opera company in Breslau, with Peruzzi as impresario, and the defection of a number of members of Denzio's company to Peruzzi's company."
  2. ^ Erika Fischer-Lichte History of European Drama and Theatre, p. 150, 2002. "After Schuch was brutally rejected by the city council in the merchant city, Frankfurt, because of bitter controversy between religious leaders, he succeeded in gaining citizen's rights in Breslau in 1754. He built a theatre there on his own land, and performed regularly from 1755 to 1764."
  3. ^ North German Opera in the Age of Goethe, p. 83, Thomas Bauman (1985). "Breslau in Silesia offered German companies an attractive alternative to Leipzig or Berlin. Like them, it could support a company from autumn ... the charming name Theater on the Cold Ashes. Schuch brought the first Hiller operas to Breslau in 1770, and his successor Johann Christian Waser introduced many more. In addition, Breslau saw the premieres of three new operas of its own in 1771 and 1772."
  4. ^ Pianoforte Music Its History, with Biographical Sketches, p. 105, John Comfort Fillmore (2005). "Before he was quite eighteen years old, he was called, on the recommendation of the Abbe Vogler, to be conductor of the opera in Breslau. He showed marked talent in his new position of responsibility, and gained invaluable experience."
  5. ^ The Opera and its Future in America, p. 149, Herbert Graf (1941). "Weber had worked hard for the organization of German opera in Breslau, Prague, and Dresden. He was not only conductor, but stage director as well, supervising the unity of the whole performance, ..."
  6. ^ Jonathan Huener, Francis R. Nicosia "The arts in Nazi Germany: continuity, conformity, change", p. 102, 2006. "Alfred Einstein, 'Opera in Breslau: Schönberg's Die glückliche Hand [The Favored Hand], Handel's Joshua, and Ballet", Berliner Tageblatt, 26 March 1928, trans. in Alfred Einstein on Music: Selected Music Criticisms"
  7. ^ Uprooted: How Breslau Became Wroclaw During the Century of Expulsions, p. 200, Gregor Thum (2011). "The Lower Silesian Opera, for example, turned its inaugural performance in Polish Wrocław on September 8, 1945, into an act of patriotism: The premiere of the Polish national opera Halka, whose composer Stanisław Moniuszko is regarded as the founder of ..."
  8. ^ "Repertuar" (in Polish). Retrieved 2020-11-28.
  9. ^ "Opera Wrocławska" (in Polish). Retrieved 2021-10-16.
  10. ^ "Leszek Możdżer o swojej pierwszej operze "Immanuel Kant": Upadek rządów jest tuż-tuż" (in Polish). Retrieved 2020-11-28.
  11. ^ "Pan Tomasz Janczak nowym Dyrektorem Opery Wrocławskiej" (in Polish). Retrieved 2023-11-25.
  12. ^ "Zrobimy we Wrocławiu "Operę w dżinsach", wstęp do 25 lat - mówi Michał Znaniecki, nowy dyrektor artystyczny" (in Polish). Retrieved 2023-11-25.
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  14. ^

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