CELEBRATION OF JOY - performance based on Johann Sebastian Bach's secular cantatas

contemporary opera 14 premiere

In German, with Hungarian surtitles

Performance based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s secular cantatas


Loyal subjects are arriving for the celebration in honour of the ruler. In order to express their veneration, they create a theatrical production in which they themselves are the actors. They act out the story of Hercules. The hero must decide: will he follow the path of virtue, or will he continue to live for enjoyment?

Bach composed his secular cantatas mostly for distinguished occasions: coronations and other political events, weddings, births and name days. Their subject was love, and most often the glorification of the age and the unconditional devotion felt for the ruler, which frequently comes to life in an allegorical or mythological story. But from behind the seeming idyllic hymns of peace, there also emerges a picture of an era of decline. Sometimes with melancholy, and sometimes with humour.

This production attempts to create a unique musical montage where passages from the cantatas come to life as a unified whole in a story conceived by its creators.

Partners: University of Theatre an Film Arts / Hungarian University of Fine Arts

Course/department heads: Tamás Ascher, Eszter Novák, György Selmeczi (musical theatre directing course); Magdolna Jákfalvi, Péter Kárpáti, László Upor (theatre dramaturg course) / Edit Zeke (Scenography Department)


Premiere: May 11, 2018

Ódry Színpad
Ódry Színpad