Chief protocol officer, eternal member
Mária Uzoni served the Hungarian State Opera for 32 years, starting in 1984. Succumbing to her affinity for the genre of opera and classical music, she abandoned her teaching career and signed with the institution as an audience developer. Her skills and attributes, however, soon led her in a different direction, and in 1989 she was appointed protocol secretary. She continued to exploit her organisational skills in this new role, since for nearly thirty years she arranged and supervised the season openers and award ceremonies of the Opera House and the Erkel Theatre, as well as the banquet of the Eternal Members and Master Artists of the Opera, small receptions in honour of high-ranking protocol guests coming into contact with whoever the general director of the day was, larger ones held on stage after premieres and memorial events for deceased Kossuth Prize-winning artists. Her patience, infinite empathy and understanding of protocol have all contributed throughout to both active and retired artists, the various musical foundations and the Opera itself maintaining a harmonic relationship with the various foreign embassies and consulates. She left the institution in 2016, as chief protocol officer, and has been an eternal member of the Opera since 2017.