The Haunted Manor (Straszny dwór) composed by the Polish composer Stanisław Moniuszko to the libretto by Jan Chęciński was premiered in 1865 in The Grand Opera in Warsaw. The opera combines a romance and a comedy expressed through Polish dance-style music. It is considered Moniuszko’s best opera, and also the greatest among all 19th-century Polish opera scores. This original production of The Cleveland Opera is fully staged and costumed, sung in Polish with English translation projected; with The Cleveland Opera Orchestra under the baton of Grzegorz Nowak, Music Director of Grand Opera in Warsaw and Principal Conductor of The Cleveland Opera. A conductor of world-wide recognition, Maestro Nowak is also Permanent Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. The story represents an idyllic view of life in a Polish country manor house thwarted by the need of two young men, Stefan and Zbigniew, to defend their homeland against an invasion of an enemy; hence their oath never to marry. But, as they meet two lovely, extraordinary women, Hanna and Jadwiga, their brazen steadfastness is melted by the fire of their hearts. Other notable roles include Miecznik (baritone), Cześnikowa (mezzo-soprano), Skołuba (bass), Damazy (tenor), Maciej (baritone) and others, enhanced with magnificent choruses and ballet, all in historic Polish costumes. Mingling comedy and pathos, The Haunted Manor is a brilliant example of opera semiseria.