The British opera director David Pountney will be granted Polish citizenship later on Saturday, following the decision of Polish President Andrzej Duda.
In 2013, the artist was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for promoting Polish culture abroad.
Mr Pountney is associated, among others, with the English National Opera, Wiener Staatsoper in Wien, and Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. He is also the artistic director of the Welsh National Opera.
In his short statement, David Pountney stressed his pride on receiving a Polish passport due to his close relationship with the country’s culture.
“I am proud that my new passport connects me with the country of Wajnberg, Szymanowski and Moniuszko,” the artist wrote, adding that the passport allows him to remain a citizen of the European Union, whose values he strongly supports.
David Pountney has repeatedly staged Polish operas. In 2009, he staged “King Roger”, originally by Karol Szymanowski, at the Bregenz Festival in Austria. In 2015, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the reconstruction of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw, he presented a new interpretation of Stanisław Moniuszko's "The Haunted Manor". Thanks to him, two Polish operas that had not been staged at the time of their creation received such opportunity: the “Passenger” by Mieczysław Wajnberg, and “The Merchant of Venice” by Andrzej Czajkowski.
Mr Pountney is also a member of the committee organising celebrations of “the Year of Stanisław Moniuszko” - 2019 is a bicentenary of the composer’s birth.