Press dossier


NOWY SĄCZ 9 – 16 MAY 2015 

Organiser: SOKÓŁ Malopolska Culture Centre in Nowy Sacz 

The proper conduct of the Festival and Competition will be ensured by the Artistic Director, Malgorzata Walewska (mezzo-soprano, outstanding Polish singer), Organisational Director – Antoni Malczak (Director of MCK SOKÓŁ), and Liliana Olech (Director of the BWA SOKÓŁ gallery).


The Ada Sari's (1886-1968) real name was Jadwiga Szayer. She won great international acclaim and was singing under the direction of such stardoms as Leoncavallo, Mascagni, and Toscanini. Her stage partners included Gili, Battistini, Titta Ruffo, Tito Schipa, Szalapin, Sobimow, Partile, and on platform, she performed, i.a., with Kreisler and Casals.

She was an educator who transplanted the great Italian school of singing on the Polish soil. Her students included famous Polish singers: Halina Mickiewiczówna, Bogna Sokorska, Maria Fołtyn, Barbara Nieman, Zdzisława Donat and Urszula Trawińska.

And here is the most important events of her life:

  • 29 June 1886 - in Wadowice, Poland, Jadwiga Szayerówna, daughter of Franciszka (maiden name: Chybińska) and Edward Szayer.
  • To 1899 - she lives in Stary Sącz, where her father is the mayor, where she takes singing, piano, and foreign languages lessons. She returns there after a few years spent teaching in Cieszyn and Krakow.
  • 1905 - 1907 - Vienna - singing lessons in a private school of an Italian,  Css Pizzamano. First public concerts.
  • 1907 - 1909 - Milan - singing lessons with Prof. Antonia Rupnicka, who was initially sceptical about the capabilities of Ada Szayerówna's voice.
  • 1909 - the success of her debut at the Teatro Nazionale in Rome in the part of Margaret in "Faust" by Gounod. Adoption of a pseudonym of ADA SARI.
  • 1904 - 1923 - performances in opera houses, including Milan (Teatro del Verme), Naples (Teatro San Carlo), in Alexandria, Saint Petersburg, Kiev, Lwiw, Kraków, Vienna, Warsaw. With success, growing fame.
  • 12 May 1923 - debut at Teatro alla Scala of Milan in the part of Queen of the Night in "Magic Flute" by Mozart under the direction of A. Toscanini. The development of the world's great career: performances and concerts throughout the world. Unflagging admiration of the audience and the press.
  • 5 March 1928 - New York - recital in Carnegie Hall.
  • 1945 - 1947 - Krakow - she teaches singing at the State Higher School of Music.
  • From 1947 - Warsaw - she teaches solo singing at the State Higher School of Music, where he receives the title of professor.
  • 2 July 1968 – Aleksandrów Kujawski - Ada Sari dies of heart attack.


The Competition Jury chaired by Malgorzata Walewska will include: Helena Lazarska – Honorary President of the Jury, Daniel Dolle (Switzerland), Angelo Gabrielli (Italy), Ryszard Karczykowski, Hanna Michalak, Izabela Kłosińska, Andrzej Nanowski, Andrejs Žagars (Latvia), Wojciech Maciejowski – Secretary of the Jury. 


of the Ada Sari 16th International Vocal Artistry Competition: Taras Hlushko, Bartłomiej Wezner, Marcin Kozieł.


Auditions open to the public will be held in three stages, from 10 to 15 May. On 16 May, there will be a gala concert of the winners, accompanied by the Krakow Opera Orchestra, and the presentation of awards. Grand Prix for male and female voices in each group will be approx. EUR 5,000. The Jury will also vote special prizes and awards, i.a.: for the Best Piece by Mozart, Polish Song, the Ada Sari's Prize for an Outstanding Coloratura Soprano and the Award for an Outstanding Pianist-Accompanist.

Each participant is required to prepare a program consisting of 10 works of any musical genre. This number should include two arias with orchestra, selected from the list, which is included in the Regulations of the Competition. The whole program should comprise of works of different eras and styles, and one composer can be represented at most twice (does not apply to the Award for the Outstanding Rendition of a Song). The pieces should be sung in original languages (with the exception of Polish pieces sung by foreign singers) and the repertoire presented should allow for at least two foreign languages. The transposition of oratorio and operatic arias is prohibited, except for the cases practically acknowledged by the performance tradition.

The program should include:

  • 1 piece by a Polish composer;
  • 1 piece by W.A. Mozart;
  • 1 piece of a contemporary composition.

The Competition consists of three stages:

  • in Stage I the participant performs one piece from the list of 3 selected pieces
  • in Stage II the participant performs 3 or 4 pieces chosen by the Jury from the programme submitted by the participant
    In addition to performance of the programme required for Stage II, the participant can also take a part in a Competition for the best performance of an art song cycle, its part or selection of songs by one composer.  It is recommended that the participant chooses art songs which are traditionally published for his/her voice range.  The maximum time for the performance of art songs is 12 minutes.
  • in Stage III 6 to 8 participants selected by the Jury will perform 2 operatic arias (with orchestral accompaniment) chosen by the participant in the original 10 piece list on the submission form. 


The Festival will be inaugurated on 9 May 2015, in St. Cross Church in the parish of St. Helena in Nowy Sącz, by Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (C-minor), "Resurrection Symphony"  performed by Polish Radio Choir, Beethoven Academy Orchestra  under the direction of José Cura, andsoloists: Urška Arlič Gololičič – soprano, the winner of 13th Ada Sari Vocal Artistry Competition in 2009 and Malgorzata Walewska – mezzo-soprano, the Artistic Director of the Ada Sari Vocal Artistry Festival  and Competition.

Even today, Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler is recognised as the most outstanding work of the composer, underestimated by critics for a long time. It was created in the period from 1888 to 1894. The first of the 5 parts of the work is a former symphonic poem, "All Souls’ Day"; the subsequent (with the exception of the final) are based on the poetics close to songs from the "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" cycle; the final contains a rich setting preparing a magnificent culmination, in which there is a hymn to the poem by Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, "Resurrection". It was created in the period from 1888 from 1894. To the executive apparatus of the orchestra, there joins the choir, which, after several  instrumental complex episodes chants the choral of "Aufersteh'n", as well as brilliantly led alto (mezzo-soprano) solo, also appearing in a duet with soprano. The premiere of the Symphony took place on 13 December 1895 in Berlin, under the direction of the composer.

An important event will be the performance of Little Solemn Mass (La petite messe solennelle) by Gioacchino Rossini, on 14 May, in the Basilica of St. Margaret (Bazylika św. Malgorzaty) in Nowy Sacz  Performers: Iwona Socha - soprano, Agnieszka Monasterska - mezzo-soprano, Andrzej Lampert - tenor, a winner of the 15th Ada Sari Vocal Artistry Competition in 2013, Jacek Ozimkowski - bass, Bartłomiej Kominek, Arkadiusz Bialic, Anna Boczar and chorus and orchestra of the Krakow Academy of Music in Krakow under the direction of Macieja Tworka.

The Little Solemn Mass (La petite messe solennelle) was composed by Gioacchino Rossini in 1863, while he was 71. Originally, the work was intended for four solo voices, choir, harmonium and two pianos. However, its huge success became a reason for which the composer decided to adapt them to great concert halls, arranging them - albeit reluctantly - for orchestra and organ.

Despite the ironically used "petite" or "little" term by the composer, the work, with its size, is comparable to the "Great" Mass in B minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. The importance of the work for its author evidenced by the fact that it was the only time in his life he included a comment before the score. At its end, there appears a significant confession of the composer: "Good God! Here is completed, the poor little Mass. I don't know if I've written a religious music (musique sacree) or condemned music (sacree musique). I was born for opera buffa and you know it well. A little knowledge, a little heart - and that's all. So be blessed and take me to paradise. G. Rossini, Passy 1863".