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New Opera season stages world-class acts in diverse locations

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  • sponsored WLB

26/03/2018 5.31pm

Budapest's Opera House will soon be back in action! While this palatial landmark on Andrássy út has been under current renovation, most shows have been hosted at the Erkel Theater. For the 2018/19 season, performances will be taking place across several venues nationwide and beyond, including the Budapest Eiffel Hall, major provincial towns and even cities outside Hungary. The Opera building will reopen for shows in May 2019. The new season will feature La bohème and Manon Lescaut by Puccini, alongside world tours and more than a dozen premieres.

According to General Director Szilveszter Ókovács, the Hungarian State Opera will be presenting the most diverse season in its history. The 2018/19 repertoire includes 16 premieres and 60 different pieces to be staged at various locations around Budapest and beyond. Before the ornate Opera House reopens in May 2019, stage shows are being hosted at an exciting mix of venues, such as the Eiffel Hall, set in an old railway building in the city’s industrial Kőbánya district.

Photo: Hungarian State Opera

Domestic locations include Hungary’s second city of Debrecen, Székesfehérvár and historic Sopron by the Austrian border. Performances by this venerable Budapest institution should also enhance cultural life beyond the country’s borders, from the Transylvanian locality of Székelyföld to Berlin and New York. The events series includes movie screenings, concerts, opera galas, and festivals, as well as activities tailor-made for a younger audience and children.

Photo: Attila Nagy

Similarly to previous seasons, the repertoire will be focused around a main theme. This one puts Puccini’s Italy in the limelight, and will feature works by the master and key composers of his era. La fanciulla del West will be staged by the Russian Vasily Barkhatov. Other Puccini pieces include the renowned Manon Lescaut (director Máté Szabó) and controversial Edgar (director Ádám Tulassay).

First performed in Monte Carlo in 1917, La rondine will debut at the Erkel Theater on May 26th, 2019, produced for the Budapest stage by director Ferenc Anger. Opera presentations include La Gioconda by Puccini’s professor Amilcare Ponchielli, La bohème by Puccini himself, and Franco Alfano’s Il principe di Zilah.

Photo: Balkányi László - We Love Budapest

In terms of the ballet performances, the spotlight is on Russian-influenced shows, including The Nutcracker and Giselle. These evergreen features are completed by contemporary presentations, such as three choreographies being staged in Hungary for the first time.

This trio includes The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, created by American choreographer William Forsythe for his company Ballett Frankfurt in 1996. Then Bedroom Folk by influential Israeli artists Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar will be presented during the Opera’s Triple Dance event in October, while Sylvia Pas De Deux by co-founder of the New York City Ballet George Balanchine is part of the Budapest establishment’s OMG musical event.

Photo: Bódis Krisztián - We Love Budapest

In 2019, A Streetcar Named Desire will draw audiences to the Eiffel Hall and the same location will host Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling, a redesigned stage show originally produced in 1979 for the Royal Ballet in London with music compiled from various works by Franz Liszt.

Photo: Attila Nagy

Those who would like to see a wider selection of these performances can choose from for any of the 40 types of passes on offer. These are available between April 3rd and June 29th online or from the Opera Sales Center on Hajós utca.

For more information and to buy tickets to individual performances, visit the redesigned opera website.

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