Ernő Dohnányi

The Tower of the Voivod


Introductory presentation with video screening

Ernő Dohnányi (1877-1960) premiered his two-act opera in 1922, but it never made it into the popular repertoire: during the composer's lifetime, it was performed all of 20 times. In 2003, however, this work reinterpreting the well-known ballad of Kelemen Kőműves was performed at the Erkel Theatre. The atmosphere of the ballad pervades the entire score, which sometimes harkens back to the stylistic world of Wagner. Originally set in the Balkans, Dohnányi transplanted the plot to the legendary land of the Székelys. One critic described the work this way: “Its motifs and musical types live a vibrant and independent life of their own in the – sometimes darkly incandescent, others times illuminating – colours of the orchestra. These, as Kodály observed, Dohnányi handles transparently and with sophistication. The motifs, especially the power of the dark ostinatos to depict atmospheres and souls, are always sufficient to sustain the listener's rapt interest.

Hungarian-language discussion programme


Opera House - Confectionary on the 3rd floor