The premiere of Aleksander Nowak’s new opera Drach named Event of the Year!

The premiere of Aleksander Nowak’s new opera Drach named Event of the Year!

09 / 11 / 2020
On 7 November 2020, during a gala broadcast on TVP Kultura, the laureates of the 10th edition of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music awards were announced. The award for Event of the Year went to the premiere of Aleksander Nowak’s opera Drach. Dramma per musica, given at the AUKSODRONE festival. Aleksander Nowak’s work, to a libretto by Szczepan Twardoch based on his heralded novel, was rewarded for ‘emphasising local dimensions in universal processes, for the strength of its musical and cultural message’.

A music drama scored for voices, harpsichord, strings, looper and… dragon. Commissioned by Filip Berkowicz, curator of the AUKSODRONE festival in Tychy, where it was premiered, this work represents a fascinating clash between the sensibilities of one of the pre-eminent Polish composers of contemporary music and an outstanding writer who is read and acclaimed in Poland and around the world. Nowak and Twardoch are both native Silesians, so Drach does not reduce Silesianness to superficially-treated folklore, but reaches much deeper – beneath a land formed from mud and coal, love and corpses, to a collective subconscious inhabited by Drach – a creature (dragon) that sees, feels and hears everything. Thanks to Drach, places and existences that are specific, local, peculiar are transported into the universal realm of myth.

The drama is told in three languages: Polish, Silesian and German. Actually four, since the music lends its own narrative, manoeuvring between Baroque and modernism. In the solo parts, we hear Joanna Freszel, Jan Jakub Monowid and Sebastian Szumski, accompanied by the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of Tychy and Marcin Świątkiewicz (harpsichord).

The gala of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music awards 2020 was organised by the Institute of Music and Dance and TVP Kultura, in partnership with Polish Radio 2. More at

Drach. Dramma per musica was released by ANAKLASIS on CD and vinyl and is available from leading bookshops and music stores, on digital platforms and on the virtual shelves of the empik chain.
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