On Saint Maurice’s Day, the Opera presented a true curiosity: highlights from the opera Béniowski, ou les Exilés du Kamchatka François-Adrien Boieldieu. The recital was presented as the first Francophone work in The Muse of France Season at the Miklós Bánffy Stage of the Eiffel Art Studios on 22 September 2020, which was also streamed live on Facebook.
François-Adrien Boieldieu (1775–1834), the great master of piano music and early French Romantic opera effortlessly charms the audience with his 27 operas and the freshness, creativity and melodic world for which he is known. Boieldieu spent seven years amassing accolades in Saint Petersburg before returning to France to become one of his homeland’s most outstanding composers. Among his best-known works is La dame blanche.
His opera Béniowski, ou les Exilés du Kamchatka, which premiered in 1800, is an opera depicting the life and adventures of the legendary Polish-Hungarian traveller, writer, explorer and, last but not least, king of Madagascar Maurycy August Beniowski, focusing on his clash with the Russian czar and subsequent exile to Kamchatka.
The 22 September 2020 recital was the first performance of the work in Hungary with such excellent soloists as Gergely Boncsér (Béniowski), Kinga Kriszta (Afanasia) and Lúcia Megyesi Schwartz (Stefanov) accompanied on the piano by the musical director of the evening, László Bartal. The sung excerpts were complemented by introductory notes by musicologist Dániel Mona.
Photo by Valter Berecz