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  • Writer's pictureJulia Sumzina

Jakub Józef Orliński and Michał Biel in Saint Petersburg: musical magic in Philharmonia.

On 23rd May 2021 the Saint Petersburg’s public had an opportunity to see and listen to one of the most famous young operatic singers in Europe. Jakub Józef Orliński accompanied by Michał Biel performed the program containing the pieces by Georg Friedrich Händel, Henry Purcell, Antonio Vivaldi and the Polish composers Tadeusz Baird, Paweł Łukaszewski in St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia.

Jakub Józef Orliński is a Polish operatic countertenor singer. He became world famous after his live performance of Vivaldi’s “Vedrò con mio diletto”, which was filmed at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2017 and attracted millions online views. Orliński has a powerful voice with a perfect legato, accurate articulation, excellent acting sense.

His duo with Polish pianist Michał Biel is a perfect collaboration of vocal and accompaniment, which makes a special energy necessary for an intimately personal classical performance without an orchestra. As an accompanist Biel feels not only the scores he performs, he becomes a part of a dialogue between the music and vocalist.

The auditorium of the Philharmonia was crowded and couldn’t hold back the applause after each piece performed by Orliński and Biel despite applauding between parts of a concert, symphony, oratorio or cantata is considered indecent. The emotions provoked by the sincere and technically excellent performance brought the audience back to a time when applause between parts and even during a performance was a sign of musical education and the audience's disposition to the work being performed, and opera had not yet become the art of snobs.

The atmosphere of sublime beauty of the auditorium and delightful energy of the concert was hypnotic. Orliński performed the classic baroque arias of Handel and Purcell in a lively and artistic manner and let audience to discover the charm of Polish XX – XXI century music. He communicated with the public a lot and made people laugh, charming the audience even more.

In conclusion, I would like to say that this concert was Orliński's first performance in Russia, but clearly not the last one, because this young man with a magical voice makes the operatic art closer for “inexperienced” listeners not turning it into pop music.

Text and photos: Julia Sumzina

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