Stage Director, designer and playwright, manager of culture, professor
Michał Znaniecki was born in Warsaw where he attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts, subsequently completing his studies in Bologna and Milano as a student of Umberto Ecco, Georgio Strehler and Thierry Salmon.
His directing career began in 1994 with productions in Poland, France, Belgium, Ireland and Italy following by Spain, Israel, Argentina and Uruguay. His repertoire balances between classical titles (Verdi, Puccini, and Donizetti), rare compositions (Prokofiev, Mussorgsky, Pergolesi, Mayr) and contemporary opera productions (Szymanowski, Dalla Piccola, Prasqual, Nyman, Berio).
He has produced more than 200 new productions of drama, opera and musical in the main theatres (Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Teatro di San Carlo Naples, The Israeli Opera, Teatro Cólon Buenos Aires, ABAO/OLBE Bilbao, El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía Valencia) and festivals of the world (Rossini Opera Festival/Pesaro, Pergolesi Spontni Festival- Iesi, Opera Wexford Festival, Luglio Musicale Trapanese, Masada Opera Festival) working with the best artists, e.g. Plácido Domingo, Piotr Beczała, José Cura, Mariusz Kwiecień, Lorin Maazel, Nicola Luisotti, Daniel Oren or Maurizio Benini among others.
Creator of several open-air mega-productions: e.g. Otello and L’elisir d’amore on the water, Turandot and Un ballo in maschera in the Olympic Stadium of Wroclaw, Traviata and Carmina Burana with the Israeli Opera at the Masada Desert, Israel.
As Artistic Director of the Polish National Opera in Warsaw he created an international coproduction platform cooperating with European theatres. During his contract as General Manager of The Grand Theatre Poznan he was a leader of a coproduction that allowed him to increase the production from 4 to 10 yearly, using the same public budget and grants he was collaborating with 15 theatres from Poland, Italy, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Argentina, Uruguay. He also created Opera Studio Program: master classes for students and graduates of vocal studies, which are concluded with a production at an Opera house. The program has an international reach and was conducted in collaboration with Italian opera houses in Pisa, Livorno, Lucca and Ravenna. From 2017 this Opera Studio program is developed with The Warsaw Chamber Opera and Mozart Junior Festival created by Michał Znaniecki (artistic director).
He still collaborates with several opera houses, festivals and governmental institutions as a consultant and specialist of social and cultural international net projects.
Znaniecki also works as General Manager of The Festival Opera Tigre in Argentina and The Kaiola Blue artistic residence. The Festival became a natural headquarter for the “opera without border”. The project using the water and nature as a natural stage. The Festival aims to be extended along several countries around the River Paraná - Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina- with a significant emphasis and references to the others culture. The Festival offers theatre and opera performances using the natural area of the island and the aquatic environment of the Paraná River. Audiences enjoy both small scale performances and concerts as well as open air opera mega-productions. Festival Opera Tiger became a part of the group of important festivals in which the water is an essential framework.
Since 2016 Michal Znaniecki is also Ambassador of European Capital of Culture, creating a network of workshops and performances, connects many cities, mixes languages, experiences, emotions; collaboration and artistic exchange that this project can exist throughout Europe; as an Ambassador and also Principal Director and Project Manager of The Jutropera Foundation he built the international programs “Exclude Voice” and „New Voice” which mix professional artist and stars with social groups excluded from the culture mainstream.
Golden Mask for The Best Production (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 2007)
Award of the President of Puglia (Golden Medal for Social and Artistic Value, 2008)
Golden Mask for The Best Director (The Producers, 2009)
Golden Mask for The Best Show (The Producers, 2009)
Premios Líricos Teatro Campoamor (The Best Production, Eugene Onegin, 2011)
Gloria Artis Silver Medal – Polish Ministry of Culture (2012)
Croatian Association of Dramatic Artists (The Best Production, Mefistofele, 2015)
Premio Abbiati (The best production Pagliacci, 2015)
Award of Minister of Culture and National Heritage („dissemination of culture” Jutropera Projects 2016)
Special Prize Florencio Sánchez for The Festival Opera Tigre in Argentina (Buenos Aires, 2016)
Medal of European Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016 (Wroclaw, 2017)
Golden Mask for The Best Production (Romeo and Juliette, 2017)