On 6 February, 2016 the special guest star of the Shakespeare Ball organized by the Hungarian State Opera is Plácido Domingo. One important feature of the ball revived in 2014 is that the greatest figures of the world of opera and ballet are invited to this exclusive event. The appearance of Domingo is extraordinary as it is the first time this significant personality of the classical music scene of the 20th and 21st centuries sings on the stage of the Opera House.
Beside Plácido Domingo three Hungarian sopranos appear in the gala performance: Szilvia Rálik, Orsolya Sáfár and Zita Szemere join the star. Later, popular music bands such as Back II Black, KFT and Mystery Gang entertain the audience in the ball room.
In a video message on his Facebook site last week Domingo announced his acceptance of the invitation of the Hungarian State Opera to the Shakespeare Ball in February 2016, a highlight event of the upcoming season at the Budapest Opera. In the last season, another outstanding figure of the world of opera, Angela Gheorghiu made her Hungarian debut at the Faust Ball. Unlike the internationally renowned soprano, Domingo has had a long-lasting relationship with the Hungarian audiences as he appeared in different roles at the Erkel Theatre in the first half of his career. His last appearance as a singer was almost 30 years ago, and he has never sung at the Opera House in Andrássy Avenue. Regarding his engagement at the Shakespeare Ball he claimed he finally got the chance to fulfil his dream to sing at the Hungarian State Opera at a very important event whose main purpose is charity.
Director General Szilveszter Ókovács highlighted that the appearance of the famous Spanish artist has a special significance: “In the person of Domingo, the greatest figure of today’s opera life will arrive, a still active artist, who became a legend in his lifetime a long time ago. There is no more famous opera singer from the point of view of the ordinary people, and professionals agree that no artist can boast a greater lifetime achievement. We will take the opportunity to form the event into a Domingo celebration as well because just like Shakespeare, Plácido Domingo is also a universal man, a renaissance artist. It took years to get the Maestro for this cause, and with him the newly formed ball of the Opera, a night of integrated arts has gained a solid foundation. In the future, not only the audience of the ball willing to donate but the international opera scene will identify the Hungarian State Opera with its thematic seasons, and its carnival nights. It is for this reason that such artists will support the charity cause whose names are equal to the highest quality of standards.
Plácido Domingo’s video message on Facebook was viewed by almost twenty thousand fans over four days resulting in a growth in online enquiries about the ball next February. Ticket sale was opened at the beginning of this summer. The event is a highlight of the Shakespeare season, therefore, it is organized on renaissance motifs, the sets and costumes evoke the period while it retains its mission to create, represent and convey value; cherish and maintain a nearly one and a half centuries old heritage; spread culture as part of our national heritage and popularise arts. The event also provides the opportunity for significant personalities of the nation, renowned public and business people to meet for a noble cause in the house of integrated arts. The main mission of the event is once again charity: guests of the ball can contribute the mutual aim, to help the Hungarian National Emergency Ambulance Service purchase an ambulance vehicle.
The responsibility of the special guest star of the ball is to guarantee the excellent quality and to give a unique significance to this one and only occasion with his presence. Plácido Domingo is an exceptional figure of operatic life in the 20th and 21st centuries, a true renaissance man, who has contributed so much to the art world apart from his qualities as an opera singer. He has ventured into the genre of operetta, he has appeared at pop concerts, and promoted opera as one of the Three Tenors. Later, he also made his debut as a conductor, and for many years now he has assisted the talents of the new generations. The many-sided artist awaits audiences in Budapest, at the Shakespeare Ball of the Hungarian State Opera on 6 February.
For more information: www.shakespearebal.hu