The Hungarian State Opera wishes to follow the international practice of planning its seasons several years ahead as well as conduct negotiations with artists and creative teams. Therefore, the Opera is now announcing the programme of its next season. Having celebrated German, Italian and Hungarian in previous years, the 2020/21 season focuses on French composers, history and culture.
The 16 new productions will include a couple of curiosities such as the world premiere of Hungarian composer János Vajda's new opera, The Imaginary Invalid whose libretto amalgamates Molière's work and Bulgakov's play about the French playwright. Figaro3 is a piece by András Vinnai after the trilogy by Beaumarchais with music by Rossini, Mozart and Milhaud.
During the French season the institute will bring back some operas that have not been played for a long time in new productions: La fille du régiment by Donizetti, Les contes d'Hoffmann by Offenbach, Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy and Andrea Chénier by Giordano directed by Fabio Ceresa, who directed Un ballo in maschera in 2018 for the Opera. As the closing of the season, the famous production of Carmen by Calixto Bieito will arrive in Budapest in summer 2021.
Apart from the thematic aspect of the season, the Opera will also commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. His only opera will arrive from the Berliner Staatsoper directed by Fidelio expert Harry Kupfer.
The complete list of opera premieres in 2020/21:
Richard Strauss: Salome (dir: András Almási-Tóth)
Claudio Monteverdi – Máté Bella: L'incoronazione di Poppea - world premiere (dir: András Almási-Tóth, Bence Varga)
János Vajda: The Imaginary Invalid – world premiere (dir: Máté Szabó)
Philip Glass: Les enfants terribles (dir: Dóra Barta)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Fidelio (dir: Harry Kupfer)
Ludwig van Beethoven: König Stephan (dir: Pál Oberfrank)
Ernő Dohnányi: Tante Simone / Jenő Hubay: Le luthier de Crémone (dir: Bence Varga)
Jacques Offenbach: Les contes d'Hoffmann (dir: Kriszta Székely)
Gaetano Donizetti: La fille du régiment (dir: Csaba Polgár)
Giampaolo Testoni: Fantasio / Fortunio – Hungarian premieres (dir: András Almási-Tóth)
Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande (dir: TBA)
Umberto Giordano: Andrea Chénier (dir: Fabio Ceresa)
Gioacchino Rossini / Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / Darius Milhaud: Figaro3– Il barbiere di Siviglia / Le nozze di Figaro / La mère coupable (dir: Bence Varga, Máté Hegymegi, András Dömötör)
Jean-Baptiste Lully – Moliére: Le bourgeois gentilhomme (dir: Jakab Tarnóczi)
Georges Bizet: Carmen (dir: Calixto Bieito)
To crown the season, the French Festival in May will showcase a number of productions from recent years: Les dialogues des Carmélites by Poulenc, Werther by Massenet, Les Huguenots by Meyerbeer and La princesse jaune by Saint-Saëns. The closing concert of the festival will feature French star soprano Patricia Petibon whereas the annual gala in February will see Sophie Koch make her debut at the Erkel Theatre. During the season audiences can hear several international stars like Ildar Abdrazakov and Andrea Rost at recitals.
The Hungarian National Ballet has proven its ability to excel in classical and modern pieces both in Hungary and worldwide. Therefore, in the French Muse Season, the company will broaden its repertoire further with three premieres. Contemporary choreographies, Alexander Ekman's Cacti and Thierry Malandain's Don Juan will premiere at the Bánffy Stage, whereas a classical ballet, Flammes de Paris by Vainonen will return to the Erkel Theatre in a new production after a hiatus of forty years. After a few years' break, popular repertoire pieces like Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Manon, Rudi van Dantzig and Toer van Schayk's Swan Lake ans László Seregi's Spartacus can also be seen again in the new season.
The Opera Orchestra, the oldest symphonic orchestra in Hungary, will be featured in more than 300 opera and ballet performances, and they will also give 38 symphonic and gala concerts, perform oratorios and concert versions of operas. The versatile ensemble will play works by Berlioz, Charpentier, Chausson, Debussy, Fauré, Mascagni, Mahler, Ravel, the young Mozart and many more. Conducting the orchestra will be the most recognised Hungarian conductors along with such international personalities as Paul Connelly, one of the most eminent conductors of ballet, the Finnish composer-conductor Leif Segerstam, or the Frédéric Chaslin. Pier Giorgio Morandi will return for Verdi's Requiem as well as the Hungarian-born Austrian conductor Stefan Soltész, a frequent guest at the Hungarian State Opera to conduct Fidelio.
The Hungarian State Opera will continue touring Hungary and the world. The company will return to Berehove (Zakarpattia) for the third time, now with a concert version of Carmen. The new Salome production will travel to Brno (Czech Republic), Bánk Bán (The Viceroy Bánk) and Die Fledermaus will enchant audiences in Mumbai (India), and the Hungarian National Ballet will take Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs to the Royal Opera House Muscat (Oman).
EIFFEL ART STUDIOS – TEST RUN NO. 2
Following a seven-year period of preparation, design and construction, the Eiffel Art Studios, the third venue of the Opera will begin its second test run (the first one took place in spring 2019) with the premiere of Levente Gyöngyösi's musical-opera The Master and Margarita on 7 February 2020. Currently, the new stage machinery and auditorium is being tested while welcoming audiences, too. The official inauguration of the complex is expected to happen in spring 2020 (to be announced officially at a later date).
Photos by Attila Nagy