• Shakespeare400+
  • Faust225
  • Strauss150

With the end of the Shakespeare season approaching, the Hungarian State Opera will be organising its biggest festival ever – and certainly its most varied – between May 17 and 2 June 2016. While it won't be easy to exceed the scale of 2014's Strauss150 festival or the scope of the previous year's series on the theme of Faust, the unmatched influence of the "Swan of Avon" nevertheless ensures that this year will see premieres of 17 different adaptations at three different venues (the Opera House, Erkel Theatre, and the Music Academy), most of them more than once, and with several Hungarian premieres among them as well. 

Programme of the Shakespeare400+ Festival
(for more information, galleries and ticket order click on the titles)

Purcell: The Fairy Queen – 18 May 2016, Erkel Theatre
Excerpts from the new production

Bernstein: West Side Story – 22, 26 May 2016, Erkel Theatre
Conductor: István Dénes
Director: Péter Novák
Cast: Boldizsár László, András Káldi Kiss, Lúcia Megyesi Schwartz

Gounod: Roméo et Juliette – 28 May 2016, Erkel Theatre
Concert version
Conductor: Christian Badea
Cast: Ivan Magri, Zita Szemere, László Szvétek, Csaba Szegedi, Ágnes Anna Kun, Gábor Bretz, Gergely Boncsér, Éva Balatoni, Tamás Busa, Lajos Geiger

Seregi–Goldmark–Hidas: The Taming of the Shrew – 18, 20 May 2016, Opera House
Conductor: István Silló
Choreographer: László Seregi
Featuring the artists of the Hungarian National Ballet

Szokolay: Hamlet – 19 May 2016, Erkel Theatre
Concert version and live CD-recording
Conductor: János Kovács

Verdi: Falstaff – 20, 22 May 2016, Erkel Theatre
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Director: Arnaud Bernard
Cast: Ambrogio Maestri, Na Gunyong, Péter Balczó, Zoltán Megyesi, Géza Gábor, János Szerekován, Beatrix Fodor, Orsolya Sáfár, Bernadett Wiedemann, Erika Gál

Adès: The Tempest – 21, 25, 28 May, 1 June 2016, Opera House
Hungarian premiere
Conductor: Péter Halász
Director: Ludger Engels
Cast: Franco Pomponi, Erika Miklósa, István Horváth, Andrea Szántó, Péter Balczó, István Kovácsházi, Tamás Tarjányi, Krisztián Cser, Zsolt Haja, András Palerdi

Verdi: Macbeth – 22, 26 May 2016, Opera House
Conductor: Renato Palumbo
Director: Miklós Szinetár
Cast: Lado Ataneli, István Rácz, Szilvia Rálik, Nadin Haris, István Kovácsházi, Gergely Boncsér, Ferenc Cserhalmi, Sándor Egri

Nicolai: The Merry Wives of Windsor – 24, 31 May 2016, Erkel Theatre
Musical direction: Dániel Erdélyi
Featuring the artists of the Hungarian State Opera Choir

Bellini: The Capulets and the Montagues – 23 May 2016, Erkel Theatre
Concert version
Conductor: György Vashegyi
Cast: Klára Kolonits, Szilvia Vörös, András Palerdi, Gyula Rab, András Kiss
Featuring the Dohnányi Orchestra, Budafokand the National Choir

Verdi: Otello – 24, 27 May 2016, Opera House
Conductor: Gergely Madaras
Director: Stefano Poda
Cast: Roberto Aronica, Andrea Rost, Mihály Kálmándi, Judit Németh, Gergely Boncsér

Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream – 27, 29 May 2016, Music Academy
Conductor: Dominic Wheeler
Director: Máté Szabó
Featuring the students of the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy

Wolf-Ferrari: Sly – 27, 29 May 2016, Erkel Theatre
Conductor: Sándor Gyüdi
Director: Pál Göttinger
Cast: Boldizsár László, Zoltán Kelemen, Krisztina Kónya, Antal Cseh

Reimann: Lear – 29, 31 May 2016, Opera House
Conductor: Stefan Soltész
Director: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Staged by: Ferenc Anger
Cast: Tómas Tómasson, István Kovács, Zsolt Haja, Gergely Ujvári, István Kovácsházi, András Palerdi, Barnabás Hegyi, Dániel Vadász, Éva Bátori, Szilvia Rálik, Eszter Sümegi

Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra concert – 30 May 2016, Opera House
Dvořák: Otello Overture
Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy - Overture
Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music
Conductor: Arthur Fagen

Bryn Terfel Recital – 2 June 2016, Opera House
Conductor: Gareth Jones
Featuring: Bryn Terfel

May Celebration
Just as our Strauss150 Festival in late spring and early summer 2014 crowned our 130th season, the Faust225 Festival focuses around the 225th anniversary of the appearance of fragments of Goethe’s Faust, Part I. Five splendid works based on the theme of Faust will be played (including the premier of Gounod’s opera and the Hungarian premiere of Busoni’s work), with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra giving a concert of rarities to close this gem of a series, more than two weeks long and replete with both Hungarian and foreign artists of international renown. All performances will take place at the Opera House.

Programme of the Faust225 Festival
(for more information and ticket order click on the titles)

Gounod: Faust (new production) – 17, 19, 23, 26, 31 May
Director: Michał Znaniecki
Conductor: Maurizo Benini
Cast includes: Dario Schmunck, Gábor Bretz, Andrea Rost

Busoni: Doktor Faust (Hungarian premiere, semi-staged version) – 22, 24 May
Director: Máté Szabó
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Cast includes: Csaba Szegedi, Boldizsár László, Lajos Geiger, Éva Bátori

Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress – 16, 20 May
Director: Ferenc Anger
Conductor: Domonkos Héja
Cast includes: Péter Balczó, Tuomas Pursio, Eleanor Lyons, András Palerdi

Weber: Der Freischütz – 27, 29 May
Director: Sándor Zsótér
Conductor: Péter Halász
Cast includes: Beatrix Fodor, Rita Rácz, Krisztán Cser, Zoltán Nyári

Boito: Mefistofele – 28, 30 May
Director: Balázs Kovalik
Conductor: Carlo Montanaro
Cast includes: András Palerdi, Attila Fekete, Gabriella Létay Kiss

Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra Concert (Schumann: Szenen aus Goethes Faust) – 1 June
Conductor: Michael Schønwandt

From 25 May until 11 June the Opera organizes the Strauss150 Festival to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth. Along with the popular pieces on the repertoire, the Opera presents a premiere: Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow) is directed by János Szikora. Besides the operas, a symphonic concert compiled from works by Strauss can be heard. It features internationally acclaimed soprano Ricarda Merbeth.

May celebration:

The aim set by the new management of the Opera almost three years ago in September 2011 is fulfilled during this festival. The jubilee year will see the six most significant operas by Richard Strauss put on stage. Salome has been a popular piece with audiences for years along with Balázs Kovalik's emblematic Elektra. In recent years new productions have been added. Now all these can be seen twice with a festival cast and international stars. The festival begins with the premiere of Die Frau ohne Schatten, which can be seen four times. Before the closing performance, a brand new statue of Strauss by Sándor Kligl will be unveiled.


Programme of the Strauss150 Festival:


Die Frau ohne Schatten: 25, 28, 31 May, 4 June – Conductor: Péter Halász, Director: János Szikora

Arabella: 27, 30 May – Conductor: Günter Neuhold, Director: Géza Bereményi
Salome: 29 May, 1 June – Conductor: Pinchas Steinberg, Director: János Szikora
Ariadne auf Naxos: 3, 7 June – Conductor: Domonkos Héja, Director: Ferenc Anger
Der Rosenkavalier: június 5., 10. – Conductor: Jun Märkl, Director: Andrejs Žagars
Elektra: 8, 11 June – Conductor: Stefan Soltész, Director: Kovalik Balázs 
Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra Symphonic Evening: 9 June – Conductor: Pinchas Steinberg
All the operas by Strauss are surtitled in English.