This work by Ferenc Erkel has a special fate, since it is centred around the great Saint Elisabeth of the House of Árpád, though its creation was facilitated by the visit of the emperor couple and the slow dissolving of the system named after the Austrian Minister of the Interior Alexander Bach. As a result, the lyrical work can also be interpreted as being in honour of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria (affectionately referred to as Sissi), who had a great affection for Hungarians. The structure of the piece is also interesting: Erkel wrote only the second act, the first and third were composed by the Doppler brothers. Though the piece has never been recorded before, music experts believe Erzsébet is the best Erkel piece, on the same level as, if not better than, Bánk Bán (The Viceroy Bánk).
Preceding the performance of this act from the opera will be an exciting introductory presentation, in which General Director Szilveszter Ókovács will be joined by comparative literary historian and cultural researcher Ákos Windhager and music historian and critic Eszter Veronika Kiss in explaining the work's background, its relationship to Sissi and the Doppler brothers – all illustrated with images that are true rarities.
The version being performed is based on the score produced as part of the critical series The Operas of Ferenc Erkel published by the Hungarian Music History Department of the Musicological Institute of the Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (with the support of the grant NKFIH K112504 Ferenc Erkel and His Workshop).