This year marks the 140th anniversary of the opening of the Hungarian State Opera House on Andrássy Avenue in Budapest. The management of the institution is preparing for the anniversary with, among other things, a new publication and several improvements, reports Magyar Nemzet. At a press event held on the occasion of the Day of Hungarian Culture, the jubilee members were also welcomed.
In his welcome speech, Dr. Szilveszter Ókovács, Director General of the Hungarian State Opera House, said that they are trying to preserve Hungarian culture not only spiritually but also architecturally. He stressed that there will be a meeting of the jubilee members, but also the re-installation of a time capsule found a few years ago, which was put in the wall during the renovation of the opera house in 1984.
“A representative album will be published of the jubilee members,” he continued, adding that “photographs of the restored Opera House will also be collected in an album.” In addition, a book by Márton Karczag, the Opera House’s memorial director, will be published, covering the periods of Miklós Count Miklós Bánffy as government commissioner and Sándor Hevesi as general director, and the second volume of Dr. G. Zoltán Marton’s autobiography, In the Service of the Empress, which will cover the career of the world-famous soprano from 1990 to the recent past, from the perspective of Éva Marton’s husband.
Perhaps most importantly, the education of young opera singers will come into focus, since the institution is counting on the partnership of the Liszt Academy to launch the Éva Marton Opera Studio from September 2024.
The aim is to provide postgraduate training and opportunities for young opera singers to broaden their stage experience with the help of the opera’s leading soloists.
Opera singer Éva Marton, co-founder of the Friends of Hungary Foundation (MOBA), publisher of our news portals, Hungary Today and Ungarn Heute, also attended the event and said she had long cherished the idea of an opera studio and was delighted that it could now become a reality.
The director also announced the expansion of the “Opera Digitár” database that will make it possible to research almost 60,000 performances and the careers of more than 7,000 artists over the past 139 seasons.
Although the royal staircase was not part of the overhead renovation between 2017 and 2022, together with the Bertalan Székely Hall, the theater management still considers it important to reconstruct these stairs on its own. Anka Józsa, technical director, said that in the last roughly six months, the Opera House’s specialists have reconstructed the marble wall surfaces using the stucco lustro process, cleaned the frieze under the staircase, and repaired its decorative painting.
Reconstruction work will continue throughout the year with the cleaning and repair of seccos and ceiling paintings in the lunettes.
Via Magyar Nemzet, Featured image: Facebook/Operaház