Adults and children who love yuletide treats are invited to gather round the Erkel Theatre. Once again, there will be choral performances each evening outside the building. With charity in mind, wine will be mulled once again, chestnuts will be freshly roasted, the Opera Shop will be open inside the theatre, where exclusive publications, CDs and DVDs and music-themed books are also available. All proceeds from the performances will go to Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA). Leading artists from the Opera will be serving and selling the products in the huts, while anyone will be able to have their photo taken with the enormous Nutcracker doll.
Our legendary ballet production, The Nutcracker was unchanged since 1950, was renewed three years ago, but in 2017 and 2018, for technical reasons, the audience will once again see Gusztáv Oláh’s old set, but the new choreography by Wayne Eagling and Tamás Solymosi with Nóra Romhányi’s new costumes at the Erkel Theatre between 14 and 31 December.
The loveliest and most uplifting tradition undertaken by the Opera's artists is the special charity performance conjures up a holiday mood with games, musical interludes and opera excerpts. Starting in 2016, the Little Bohemian Christmas programme has been updated based on the designs of our director András Aczél, and now unfolds in a different magical winter setting: the garret from the legendary 1937 production of La bohème. This special performance entitled Little Bohemian Christmas features soloists András Kőrösi, Orsolya Hajnalka Rőser, Zita Szemere and Zsolt Molnár as well as the Opera Sziget Orchestra, soloists of the Hungarian National Ballet and the Hungarian State Opera Children's Chrous.
In the Puccini season of the Opera, La bohème will return to the stage six times between 8 and 27 December. The legendary opera productions directed by Kálmán Nádasdy with Gusztáv Oláh's marvellous scenery is a genuine example of theatrical history that has remained on the Opera's programme calendar since 1937, with nearly 900 performances to date. The 21 December performance is the 160th anniversary of Puccini's birth, which will be commemorated with a short ceremony and a special rendering of the composers most popular aria, Nessun dorma. The series features a double cast (Gergely Boncsér / István Horváth as Rodolfo, and Lilla Horti and Gabriella Létay Kiss as Mimi). The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra is conducted by Gergely Boncsér and Alberto Veronesi.
The Puccini season also serves as the perfect opportunity to present a rarity: Leoncavallo's La bohème in a concert version at the Erkel Theatre on 17 December. The work that turned the two great artists’ friendship into a rivalry that lasted until death features soloists Boldizsár László, Lilla Horti, Zsolt Haja, Csaba Szegedi. The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus are conducted by Fabrizio Maria Carminati.
Partners of the Nutcracker festival: A'Capella Winery, Piarista Bor, Skrabski Winery.
Photos by Szilvia Csibi