Hungarian-language opera performance got its start with the opening of the Hungarian Theatre of Pest in 1837. For this, Ferenc Erkel felt it was critical to organise a chorus along with the orchestra. The 81-person chorus that was in place when the palace on Andrássy avenue was inaugurated has since grown to employ more than 150 singers. Voters on the Bachtrack music site chose the Hungarian State Opera Chorus the best chorus in the world for 2016.