Stanislaw Moniuszko (1819 – 1872). The most important opera composer in nineteenth-century Poland, and a pioneer in the creation of a Polish nationalist style, Stanislaw Moniuszko began composing while studying music in Berlin. Exposure to the operas of Weber and Marschner had a profound influence on the young Moniuszko, and after composing a few comparatively slight operettas, he felt secure enough to tackle his first grand opera, Halka. The result of Moniuszko’s labors was a hit of phenomenal proportions, but only after the composer had revised it repeatedly for a decade. His later operas, particularly The Haunted Manor, ran into difficulties because of their patriotic libretti; following the insurrection of 1863, Moniuszko’s ideology was no longer fashionable—dooming his later work to popular and critical failure.
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