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92-Year-Old Kurtág’s First Opera Debuts in Scala with Orbán in Attendance

Fanni Kaszás 2018.11.16.

Hungarian contemporary composer György Kurtág’s long-awaited, first-ever opera Fin de Partie made its world debut at the La Scala opera house in Milan with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán reportedly in attendance.

Kurtág spent more than eight years writing Fin de Partie—based on Samuel Beckett’s play Endgame, premiered in 1957. The audience celebrated the performance with eight minutes of applause and Prime Minister Orbán remarked that the opera was “astonishing.”

According to AP, La Scala Common Manager Alexander Pereira has wanted to bring the opera to the stage for years, saying “it’s a masterpiece.” Pereira believes it’s the most important opera of the last 30 years.

The Kossuth Prize-winning composer couldn’t participate in the event due to health reasons, but the Hungarian Prime Minister posted a picture on his Facebook page from La Scala, declaring:

This is the first time that a Hungarian opera is being premiered at the Scala. This is where we need to be. This is the most important event for Hungarians today.

He also told news channel M5 prior to the premiere that although our unique language “separates us from the rest of the world to some extent,” with the help of music, Hungarians can tell who they are and what they think about the world. He added that “events such as tonight’s fill us Hungarians with pride.”

via MTI, AP