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The State Opera is reopening!

After nearly 5 years of renovation, the magnificent palace of the Andrássy Avenue opens its doors again to welcome opera-lovers.

The Opera House of Budapest was opened to the public on the 27th September in 1884, in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I. The music director of the Opera, the great composer Ferenc Erkel conducted the orchestra on that majestic evening.

A few facts about the Opera

  • The district where the Opera stands today, was a cheap plot of Budapest once, a dangerous place to visit – even Baron Frigyes Podmaniczky, who was in charge of the construction didn’t dare to go there without his weapons.
  • Emperor Franz Joseph I favored the idea of the construction, on condition that it will not be bigger than the Opera in Vienna. When he arrived for the opening ceremony, he realised that his request was accepted: it was smaller than the Opera of Vienna. However he also noted: „I forgot to tell: it cannot be more beautiful, either.”
  • Tickets were extremely expensive at that time: the price of one ticket was equal to the price of two horses.
  • The chandelier of the auditorium weights nearly 2 tons. It is still lifted manually, by human work. To lower the chandelier takes 25 minutes, however nearly the double to raise.
  • The neo-renaissance palace was designed by Miklós Ybl, the sculptures are the work of Alajos Strobl, murals were painted by Károly Lotz, Bertalan Székely and Mór Than. These names were the best artists of that time, and are still regarded as the most important Hungarians in architecture, sculpture and painting.

Highlights of the repertoire

March 12, 2022 – The Grand Reopening Gala
Conductor: Placido Domingo

From March 13, 2022: Ferenc Erkel: Hunyadi László

János Hunyadi is responsible for the tolling of bells around the world; Mátyás Hunyadi is the hero of a string of folk tales; László Hunyadi inspired “only” an opera. An opera that is actually about his younger brother, the last great King of Hungary, or at least the events leading up to his rule.

From March 14, 2022 – Sir Kenneth MacMillan / Franz Liszt / John Lanchbery: Mayerling

Kenneth MacMillan’s fourth full-length ballet relates the tragic story of the heir to the Austrian throne and his mistress. John Lanchbery selected the music for the ballet from the oeuvre of a Hungarian composer whose world renown led to his creating work for Empress and Queen Elisabeth (Sisi). The role of Rudolf is one of the most challenging in the history of ballet, with the crown prince’s psychological and emotional collapse depicted through two exceptionally intense pas de deux.

From April 24, 2022 – Guiseppe Verdi: Simon Boccanegra

„Such intimate and delicately crafted music is not only impossible to appraise, one cannot even begin to comprehend it,” is how one contemporary critic described Giuseppe Verdi’s musical drama. The story of the Genovan doge, a work condemning ill-fated political battles and urging amity within the Italian nation has been conquering the world’s opera stages since 1881. A special guest, Placido Domingo will sign twice in the role of Simon Boccangera.

From April 15, 2022 – Richard Wagner – Parsifal

In Parsifal, his final music drama, Wagner embeds fear of the temptations of the world and sinful desires into a tale of redemption. The work is indeed a festival play for the stage rather than an opera. Designing the visual world of this new production directed by artistic director András Almási-Tóth will be Sebastian Hannak, who was also behind the look of Porgy and Bess and The Fairy Queen.

From May 15, 2022 – Richard Wagner – Götterdämmerung

Friendship, love, vows, contracts, the rights of guests–these are all fundamental values that may end up worthless in times of strife. Richard Wagner’s monumental, romantic Ring tetralogy is far from a strange story involving German mythological heroes, it is also about the economic, social, and ecological changes and the crisis of values experienced in the past two hundred years, or much rather in the present day.

From June 5, 2022 – Guiseppe Verdi – Don Carlo

Verdi took Schiller’s drama, a work whose nearly every line is permeated with social and political ideas, and poured it into music in a way that emphasises individual emotions and spiritual vibrations.

Words of Frank Hilbrich, the director of the production: “Verdi portrays this painful recognition in Schiller’s stage play Don Carlos with grandiose music. There is no other composer for whom individual freedom could have taken on such importance. With this opera, he paints a frightening picture of human civilisation.”


For up-to-date program schedule and tickets contact us at qth@qth.hu!