Stephen, the King – world premiere of the opera version at the Erkel Theatre

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The most successful of Hungarian rock opera by Levente Szörényi and János Bródy for the past 40 years is to premiere with symphonic orchestrations by Levente Gyöngyösi and the participation of opera singers at the Hungarian State Opera. The production is staged by Miklós Szinetár at the Erkel Theatre, the ensembles of the Opera are conducted by Gergely Kesselyák and Ádám Cser.

Since its 1983 premiere at Budapest City Park, the piece based on the play Ezredforduló (Millennium) by Miklós Boldizsár, is one of the most popular Hungarian stage musicals. The (rock) opera that examines the question of what it means to be Hungarian through the opposition of Stephen and Koppány as well as in the context of the founding of the state has been staged in numerous grandiose and extraordinary was in the past four decades.

The Hungarian State Opera in collaboration with the copyright holders intended to present the work first on the 75th birthday of composer Szörényi Levente, later as the closure of the Christian Spirit Season in spring 2020. However, the epidemic forced the institute to postpone the project until October.

The work of composer Levente Gyöngyösi can be understood as an obeisance to the artistry of Levente Szörényi. Thanks to its entirely symphonic score and the opera singers participating in the production, the work completely sheds the need for amplification, allowing new treasures to be discovered

Miklós Szinetár, the doyen of Hungarian directors, undertook to direct the piece. His interpretation following the traditions of monumental and eclectic opera productions strives to win the support and love of all Hungarians, as millions of Hungarians already know the iconic and always applicable songs (or now arias) from Stephen, the King. The multi-layered set featuring projection technique was designed by Balázs Horesnyi, the ornate costumes evoking the historic era were designed by Rita Velich, the choreography performed by artists of the Hungarian National Ballet was created by Bertalan Vári. The double cast features Gergely Boncsér and Dániel Pataky in the title role, Antal Cseh and Csaba Szegedi as Koppány, and Ildikó Komlósi and Andrea Meláth as Sarolt. The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, Chorus (chorus master: Gábor Csiki) and Children's Chorus (chorus master: Nikolett Hajzer) are conducted by Gergely Kesselyák and Ádám Cser.


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