Daniel Auber


classic opera 12 premiere 28. Kékesi Mária season ticket

11 May 2024, 11 a.m.

Eiffel Art Studios – Miklós Bánffy Stage

In Brief

Opera in three acts, in Hungarian, with Hungarian and English surtitles

Performance length: , with 1 intermission.

The OPERA presents a production that is special in many ways: special because the operas of Daniel Auber are rarely heard by the Hungarian opera audience – and Fra Diavolo has not been performed at the Opera House since 1962. It is also special because it is directed by Miklós Szinetár, whose first work as an opera director was this very piece. Now it is being staged again and he is looking back on it from seven decades later, and once again staging it with young singers. With Fra Diavolo, Auber reached his zenith as a composer, converting Eugène Scribe's sparkling comedy into his opera score with a hilarious musical humour (perhaps best known in Rossini). It is no coincidence that, after the overwhelming success of its world premiere in Paris in 1830, it was continuously on the repertoire until 1907. The title character is a real anti-hero, something like Don Giovanni: he pulls the strings, every scene and every character in the opera depends on him in some way. Fra Diavolo, ou L'hôtellerie de Terracine, is an entertaining, amusing ‘bandit opera’ – with catchy music and hilarious scenes,” says Miklós Szinetár himself.


Eiffel Art Studios – Miklós Bánffy Stage
May 11, 2024
Start time
11 a.m.
End time
2 p.m.


Act One
At the head of his troops, Lorenzo arrives at the small inn of Terra Piccina. With his soldiers, he is in pursuit of the gang led by the notorious bandit Fra Diavolo. Lorenzo is agitated as Matteo, the innkeeper wants his daughter, Zerline to marry the wealthy Francesco instead of him. Although the young couple have sworn everlasting love to each other, it seems Lorenzo will have to give up on marrying her.
An English investor, Lord Cockburn and his wife, Pamela flee to the inn after getting attacked and robbed by bandits. Based on their accounts, the perpetrators were most likely Fra Diavolo's men. The Lord offers a large sum of money to anyone who captures the bandit and his gang.
No man goes unnoticed by Pamela, the flirtatious Lady. Having settled in at the inn, she is having tea with her husband when a mysterious Marquis, a music lover arrives. He was in fact the Lady’s latest escapade.
The innkeeper and Zerline give an intense performance of a song about Fra Diavolo in front of the noble guest, and unexpectedly, the Marquis joins in – he knows the legend well. This sing-along is interrupted by the appearance of some begging monks asking for lodging for the night. When they are alone, all three of them turn out to be bandits in disguise: the Marquis is none other than the dreaded bandit, Fra Diavolo, whereas the begging monks are Giacomo and Beppe, members of his gang.
The “Marquis” and the Lady carry on with their love affair, and at the climax of their tête-à-tête, he takes the Lady’s valuable necklace as a memento. Suddenly, the jealous husband appears, but before the scandal breaks, Lorenzo and his soldiers arrive. They have successfully captured many members of Fra Diavolo’s gang, they even managed to retrieve the jewels of the Lord and his wife. True to his word, the Lord pays the reward to Lorenzo, and thus he becomes suitable to marry Zerline.

Act Two
Evening. The Lord and his wife are about to go to sleep. The remainder of the bandits’ gang devise a plan to rob the wealthy couple again. In their haste, they end up in Zerline’s room, and while hiding, they listen to and see the girl preparing for bed. The unexpected return of the soldiers thwart their plans. Moreover, the “Marquis”, who has been discovered in Zerline’s room, has no choice but to pretend he is on a secret midnight rendezvous. Taking advantage of the Lord and Lorenzo’s jealousy, he flees.

Act Three
A raised amount of reward is announced for the capture of Fra Diavolo. The bandits want to take revenge for the loss they suffered during the raid and plan their next robbery. On the morning of a celebration taking at the local Chapel of Fidelity, the innkeeper returns from the town and must face the consequences of the night before: Lorenzo wishes to marry Zerline no more. The soldiers set out in pursuit of the bandits again. An innocent song reveals the truth: it wasn’t only the “Marquis” hiding in Zerline’s room last night. A letter found in the pocket of the disguised gang members reveals Fra Diavolo’s plans. Officers of the law take their places and lie in waiting for the gang leader to make his next move.
Fra Diavolo is captured surrounded by the villagers and the guests – when events take an unexpected turn…