The 7 February 2021 show of Masquerade joined two excellent artists, Szilvia Rálik and Gábor Bretz, who had already given solo recitals in the series. Their joint evening featuring their favourite arias and a young guest tenor was streamed from 8:00 p.m. on Facebook and Origo.hu.
Szilvia Rálik has been a soloist of the Opera for nearly two decades. The soprano was born in Békéscsaba, and she graduated the Szeged Conservatory of the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy. She has appeared in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Denmark. She came first at the József Simándy International Singing Competition in 2000, and the same year she won the scholarship of the Budapest Opera. She made her debut at the Hungarian State Opera as Waldvogel in Wagner's Siegfried in 2001. During her career she has sung the most dramatic soprano roles of opera literature, most significantly those of Verdi, Wagner and Puccini, some of whom will be evoked at the concert. Her achievements were awarded by the Liszt Award in 2014, the same year she became Chamber Singer of the Opera. In 2019, she was named Artist of Excellence.
Budapest-born Gábor Bretz first studied in Los Angeles before returning to Budapest to continue his training. At the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music he trained under such renowned personalities as Sándor Sólyom-Nagy. The audience of the Hungarian State Opera first saw him in 2003, he has since been a recurring guest there. His repertoire includes operas by Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Boito and Bizet as well as a number of Hungarian composers. He can frequently be seen as a soloists of concerts. He is also an acclaimed performer at international opera houses: he has appeared at the New York Metropolitanben, the Royal Opera House in London, La Scala, and on stages of Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, Bologne, Hamburg and Tokyo. He became Chamber Singer for the 2012/13 season at the Opera, his achievements were awarded by the Ferenc Liszt Prize in 2013, and he was named Hungarian Artist of Merit in 2020.
The young tenor Botond Ódor was born into a family of artists, and he himself learnt classical guitar from a young age before turning to singing. He came first at the József Simándy International Singing Competition in 2013, and he graduated from the Music Academy in 2017. In 2018, he took part in the premiere of the one-acts Fantasio / Fortunio with the company of the Hungarian State Opera in Italy. His repertoire ranges from the first Viennese School to contemporary music.
Artistic director of the performance: Erika Tóth
Pianist: Anikó Katona
Hosted by Szilveszter Ókovács
Giordano: Andrea Chénier – Maddalena's aria from Act 2 ("Eravate possente") – Szilvia Rálik
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro – Figaro's a ria from Act 4 ("Tutto è disposto... Aprite un po'quegli occhi") – Gábor Bretz
Janaček: Jenůfa – Jenůfa's aria from Act 2 ("Mamičko, mám těžkou hlavu") – Szilvia Rálik
Verdi: Simon Boccanegra – Fiesco's aria from Prologue ("Il lacerato spirito") – Gábor Bretz
Mozart: Così fan tutte – Dorabella's aria from Act 1 ("Ah, scostati!... Smanie implacabili") – Szilvia Rálik
Boito: Mefistofele – Mefistofele's aria from Act 2 ("Ecco il mondo") – Gábor Bretz
Cardillo: Core 'ngrato – Botond Ódor
Puccini: Tosca – Tosca and Scarpia's duet from Act 1 ("Tosca divina, la mano mia la vostra aspetta") – Szilvia Rálik and Gábor Bretz
Photo by Edina Ligeti