On 7 November 1810, Ferenc Erkel was born the son of a teacher in the eastern town of Gyula. Since 2013, the birthday of the father of Hungary’s Romantic national opera is celebrated on Hungarian Opera Day. This day saw the reopening of the Opera House’s legendary second venue, the Erkel Theatre on Pope John Paul II Square, the largest seated auditorium in Central Europe. On this day in autumn 2014, we also remembered another brilliant Hungarian composer, who – like Erkel – also made significant contributions as a teacher: Sándor Szokolay, whose Blood Wedding we performed on the 50th anniversary of its premiere. In 2015, we celebrated with another world-famous Hungarian work: the colossal oriental opera, Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba) by Karl Goldmark, who died 100 years ago. This year a concert performance of Ferenc Erkel’s first opera will be in the programme, and the studio recording of the opera, based on the critical edition of the score, will be issued on the same day. The internal awards of the opera, the jubilee golden rings, will be awarded before the performance, and the new Eternal Members and Master Artists will also be inaugurated. Of course, we will not forget to lay a wreath at the Erkel statue in the foyer of the theatre.
Programme of the Hungarian Opera Day:
17:30 - award ceremony
19:15 - wreath-laying