The new season of the Opera will bring audiences to Puccini’s Italy with 16 premieres, 60 repertoire pieces, the inauguration of the Eiffel Arts Studios as well as the reopening of the Opera House: all are featured in the 2018/19 season of the Hungarian State Opera.
Until these venues are opened the resident companies of the Opera will continue touring: apart from guest appearances in regional cities and Hungarian settlements beyond the borders of Hungary, the Opera will also visit New York, Berlin, the capitals of the Visegrád Group, and several Italian cities that played an important role in the life of Puccini.
The 2018/19 season, entitled “Puccini’s Italy” focuses on the composers of the turn of the previous century, while placing special emphasis on the life and work of Puccini, the most popular opera composer of the 20th century. La fanciulla del West is to be staged by Vasily Barkhatov, a young director sought after on German and Russian stages.
Audiences can also enjoy a new version of Manon Lescaut directed by Máté Szabó, the first staged version of Edgar, directed by Ádám Tulassay. In addition, for the first time ever La rondine, in a production by Ferenc Anger, will be featured as well at the Opera.
Puccini’s contemporaries are also included in the program, as Ferenc Anger will stage Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, while the concert versions of La bohème by Leoncavallo and Il principe Zilah by Alfano will be performed as well.
To crown the season, the thematical, month-long Puccini Festival will mark the reopening of the Opera House in May 2019. Uniquely, all of Puccini’s operas will be performed at the festival, alongside song recitals, church concerts, ballet performances, screenings, and verismo operas. The Choral Artist’s Mini Festival will take place again during this period as well, and the closing event of the festival will be the Hungarian debut of the leading Italian tenor, Vittorio Grigolo.
On the anniversary of Mozart’s birthday, 27 January, 2019, the Bánffy Stage at the Eiffel Art Studios will be inaugurated with the world premiere of a Mozart piece. L’oca del Cairo, ossia Lo sposo deluso is a pasticcio, directed by Attila Toronykőy, based on an idea by Szilveszter Ókovács using two unfinished comic operas by Mozart.
The new location will serve both as a rehearsal stage and as a venue for baroque, modern and contemporary performances. For instance, two one-act pieces directed by Csaba Káel will be staged here: The Gold and the Woman, the only opera by Jenő Kenesey, and The Tót Family by Péter Tóth, based on the popular story by István Örkény.
The tradition of closing the season with a baroque opera will continue in the coming season as well: Kriszta Székely will stage Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. The program of the Bánffy Stage will also include a chamber play commissioned by the Opera: Chrysanthemums, or Liù’s Death by Balázs Szálinger, drawing on Puccini’s life.