“A people can best be known through their folk songs,” claimed Zoltán Kodály, one of the crucial proponents of Hungarian music, whose main ambition as a composer, collector of folk songs and music teacher was to inculcate a love for Hungarian folk song and to cultivate a knowledgeable audience.
The Spinning Room is the epitome of Kodály's efforts. When the Opera commissioned a full-length version of the work from the composer in 1931, it wasn't an opera that Kodály intended to write – instead his aim was to re-discover the Hungarian folk song and relay its simple dramatic power.
Kodály was of Polish extraction on his mother's side. And now, breaking with convention, audiences will get the chance to see through the eyes of a Polish director, Michał Znaniecki, how a foreign artist perceives this quintessentially Hungarian work.
In the first part, István "Szalonna" Pál and his Band's dance house will get the audience tuned in and keyed up for the Hungarian folk melodies.