Manru is an opera (lyrical drama) in three acts, music by Ignacy Jan Paderewski composed to the libretto by Alfred Nossig (English translation by Henry Edward Krehbiel), based on the novel A Hut Behind the Village (1843) by Józef Ignacy Kraszewski.
The opera received its first performance (world premiere) in Dresden May 29, 1901 (sung in German, Ernst von Schuch conducting), followed by the Polish premiere in Lwow on June 8, 1901, and Teatr Wielki, Warsaw on May 24, 1902.
The American premiere (sung in English) took place on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House on February 14, 1902, with the debut of Alexander von Bandrowski in the title role, Walter Damrosch conducting (good friend of the composer). The opera initially received an enthusiastic reception, with the premiere being marked as "one of high distinction." Nevertheless, predominantly due to a badly written libretto, it received only 9 performances in the season 1901/1902 (of which 4 performances were staged in New York City) and was never revived there since.
- "Opera Guide" by Jozef Kanski, PWM 1978
"Its later performance history is recounted in Dux’s chunky little booklet. Grand Opera Theatre in Warsaw revived the work in 1930 and gave a further run of performances in 1936. Poznán Opera launched a completely new production in 1938. Since 1945 there have been no productions outside Poland. The Polish performances included ones in Poznán and Warsaw in 1961 and another in Wrocław in 1990 to mark the composer’s 130th birthday. In 2001, this time to mark the 60th anniversary of Paderewski’s death, Wrocław Opera gave a concert performance. It is this version on which the present recording is based."
- Metropolitan Opera archives (database)
- Stanford University: Manru: Synopsis and performance history
- Review of the world premiere recording of "Manru" at Naxos Music Library
- Mr. Paderewski's Opera; The New York Times, 1902
- Opera Today: Paderewski: Manru
- DUX 0368/0369, Lower Silesian Opera House, Wroclaw (2001), World premiere recording of "Manru"