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The story opens as brothers Zbigniew and Stefan pledge themselves to the continued military service of their country. They vow never to marry, thus disappointing their Aunt Czesnikowa who has arranged marriages for them both. Meanwhile it is New Year's Eve at the manor of the nobleman Miecznik - who has two beautiful daughters. After Miecznik describes the ideal son-in-law as prepared to lay down his life for his country, Czesnikowa arrives - just ahead of her nephews - and proceeds to blacken their names by describing them as cowards. But when the old steward, Skoluba, recounts the tales of the haunted manor, the brothers remain unafraid and confess to each other that they have fallen in love with the two sisters. Miecznik tells the true story about the house, Zbigniew and Stefan recognise the folly of their oath to bachelorhood and, taunting their mischievous aunt, propose to the two sisters.Performers Iwona Hossa (Hanna), Viktoria Vizin (Jadwiga), Dariusz Stachura (Stefan), Jacek Janiszewski (Zbigniew), Zenon Kowalski (Miecznik), Zbigniew Macias (Maciej), Piotr Nowacki (Skoluba), Elizabeth Woods (Czesnikova), Adam Zdunikowski (Damazy).
Music Stanislaw Moniuszko. Lyrics Jan Checinkski. Company Wexford Festival Opera. Conductor David Jones. Director Michal Znaniecki. Design Francesco Calcagnini.
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