Sándor Szokolay


19 May 2016, 7 p.m.

Erkel Theatre – Main stage

In Brief

Opera in three acts, performed in concert version, in Hungarian, with Hungarian surtitles

The idea of composing an opera to Shakespeare's Hamlet started to occupy Sándor Szokoloy from a very young age, in no small measure because of the 1948 film version of the play directed by and starring Sir Laurence Olivier.
The libretto for the Hamlet that was premiered at the Opera House in 1968 was crafted by Szokolay himself: for the work, he used the János Arany translation, which he did not change by a single letter, instead simply leaving out certain parts and shortening certain passages, thereby giving a new interpretation to Shakespeare in several spots. What posed the greatest challenge for Szokolay in composing it was making classical drama correspond to the requirements of opera. In the words of Géza Fodor: “At every point, the composition became a formulation arising from the content and the Hamlet problem and carrying the full credibility of artistic truth.
The Hamlet premieres as part of the Shakespeare Season is a concert-format performance of the three-act opera.

This performance is taking place as a collaboration between the Hungarian State Opera, the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian Radio Choir.


Erkel Theatre – Main stage
May 19, 2016
Start time
7 p.m.
End time
10 p.m.