Balázs Szálinger

Siegfried-idyll / Chrysanthemums

contemporary opera 14

February 27., Thursday 20:00

Eiffel Art Studios – Bánffy Stage

Starting in 2018 and inspired by dramas that are themselves part of opera history, the Opera has attempted to both support contemporary Hungarian literature and serve the cause of opera itself. It first commissioned poet and dramatist Balázs Szálinger, one of the outstanding authors of his generation and one who is much in demand, to write Siegfried Idyll, about the remarkable relationship between Wagner and Nietzsche. He then went on to treat the tragedy of Doria Manfredi, an episode in Puccini’s life full of jealousy, love and misunderstandings, in a piece titled Crisantemi. Serving as the musical background of the former is Géza Köteles’s arrangement of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. In the latter, the moving biographical scenes are accompanied by Puccini’s string quartet Crisantemi and a few marvellous excerpts from his operas.


Eiffel Art Studios – Bánffy Stage
Feb. 27, 2020
Start time
8 p.m.
End time
10:30 p.m.

Balázs Szálinger

Siegfried Idyll, or The End of a Friendship

Thirty years younger than Wagner, Nietzsche spent a full decade in thrall to the composer's spell. However, their relationship must be regarded as something considerably more substantial and consequential than that between an idol and his admirer. Their correspondence and other documents reveal a wide-ranging discussion on topics such as generation difference, musical aesthetics, the great philosophical questions of life and even human weaknesses. And it also constantly returns to the subject of the uncannily beautiful music of the Siegfried Idyll, which describes – in place of words, and in the gaps between them – a sense of life that, although yearned for, never in fact existed. 
Balázs Szálinger is an Attila József Award-winning poet and dramatist. With his time and talent much in demand, he is one of the outstanding authors of his generation.
Conductor and composer Géza Köteles is known for his highly successful “musical adaptations” like FrenchLateNight and Parázsfuvolácska, The Magic Flute for children. As part of the Ring season, the Opera has commissioned these two artists to write a piece about the relationship between Nietzsche and Wagner, which Péter Kálloy Molnár will then produce on the stage.

Balázs Szálinger

Chrysanthemums, or The Death of Liù

Although Puccini was well known as an admirer of the fair sex, this is something that his wife, Elvira, found less and less tolerable. Falling victim to the woman's jealousy was their maid, Doria Manfredi, who eventually killed herself after first being hounded with suspicions and later ejected from the Puccini household. The girl's innocence was proved at the autopsy. Fifteen years later, the composer immortalised Doria's memory in the character of the self-sacrificing servant girl in Turandot: Liù's swan song comes on the last page of Puccini's original score, which was completed after his death.
Starting in 2018, it has been the Opera's aim to both support contemporary Hungary literature and serve the cause of opera by taking inspiration from dramas that are grounded in opera history itself. After Balázs Szálinger's Siegfried Idyll, the institution has again engaged the Attila József Award-winning poet/playwright, this time to create a dramatic piece, inspired by Puccini's “Crisantemi” string quartet and melodies from Turandot, about the tragic story of the young maid.

Szálinger Balázs
Music by
Giacomo Puccini
Concept by
Szilveszter Ókovács
Bálint Szilágyi
Visual designer
Sándor Márkus
Eszter Orbán
Music director
Géza Köteles
Featuring on piano
Szilvia Mikó


Eiffel Art Studios – Bánffy Stage
Eiffel Art Studios – Bánffy Stage
Eiffel Art Studios – Bánffy Stage
Eiffel Art Studios – Bánffy Stage
Eiffel Art Studios – Bánffy Stage