British opera director gets Polish citizenship
PR dla Zagranicy
Prominent British opera director David Pountney has been granted Polish citizenship. He received the certificate from the hands of Culture Minister Piotr Gliński.
David Pountney Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk
David Pountney serves as artistic director of the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff and works closely with the English National Opera in London, as well as the opera houses in Vienna and Munich.
In his thank-you remarks during Saturday’s ceremony, David Pountney said he was proud of his close bonds with Polish culture. He said: “It was a great privilege and honour to come into contact in my professional career with various cultures, but it is Polish culture that has played a very special role in my life.”
He recalled that his first encounter with Polish opera was in the mid-1970s, when he saw a production of Moniuszko’s opera The Haunted Manor in Warsaw. He said: “I didn’t understand a single word of what was going on on the stage back then.”
He added that he was happy to receive the Polish passport during the inauguration of the Moniuszko Year. He received a nomination as a member of the honorary committee of events marking the bicentenary of the composer’s birth.
Pountney has done a great deal to promote works by Polish composers, with the productions of Karol Szymanowski’s King Roger, Mieczysław Weinberg’s The Passenger and Andrzej Czajkowski’s The Merchant of Venice at the Bregenz Festival in 2009, 2010 and 2014, as well as of Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor at the National Opera in Warsaw in 2015.
In 2013 David Pountney received the Knight’s Cross of the Polish Order of Merit for his services in the promotion of Polish culture abroad.