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Hungarian talent takes over the Big Apple

Due to a renovation process, the Hungarian State Opera is closed until 2019, the modernisation and restoration of the public areas of the palace on Andrássy Avenue began in 2017. Also modernising the stage and the machinery is both one of the main reasons for the project and one of its prime elements. The equipment installed in 1984 is worn out after 33 years, and its technical parameters no longer meet today’s requirements, which demand much greater speed and minimal noise. The new machinery being installed will expand the range of available scenic possibilities, meaning that the standard of the Opera House’s machinery will be competitive with other European opera houses. Until the reopening of the Opera House, the second venue of the Hungarian State Opera, the Erkel Theatre welcomes audiences and fans of opera, ballet and classical music.

Currently three hundred and fifty singers, dancers and musicians from the Hungarian State Opera are taking over the David H. Koch Theater  for two weeks in New York as the Hungarian State Opera and Hungarian National Ballet are making their U.S. debuts. The High Note Hungary Cultural Festival c/o The Balassi Institute – the Hungarian Cultural Center in New York – is held from October 30 until November 11 with programs featuring a series of U.S. premieres and new productions. On October 29, 7 PM the anchorage of the Manhattan Bridge turned into an opera stage to celebrate the over 400 artists, performers and creatives from Hungary overtaking New York, the culture capital of the United States. Hungary’s most innovative video artists, Glowing Bulbs / Kiégő Izzók turned the Manhattan Bridge a true memento of the Hungarian State Opera and the Hungarian National Ballet debuting in New York. Britain’s Got Talent’s finalist acrobatic folk dance trio Fricska set the mood yesterday at Brooklyn’s Pearl Street Triangle (DUMBO), the four talented dancers – Ahmed Moussa, Gergely Bálint Papp, and Máté Bence Papp – are known for breaking Michael Flatley’s Guinness Record of the highest number of folk dance taps per second (41 vs. 35).

The first week of the engagement features the Hungarian State Opera in U.S. premiere performances of Ferenc Erkel’s Bánk Bán and János Vajda’s Mario and the Magician, as well as Karl Goldmark’s rarely seen The Queen of Sheba, and Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. The second week features two full length ballets including the U.S. premieres of new productions of Swan Lake and Don Quixote, plus a third program of contemporary dance classics by Hans van Manen. The official closing event will be Zoltán Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus. Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály is a household name amongst New York’s classical music enthusiasts. Founder of the innovative Kodály-method to teach children music Kodály composed Psalmus Hungaricus for the creation of Hungary’s capital city, the unification of Buda and Pest. The piece premiered 95 years ago, November 19, 1923, and had not been performed in New York for 50 years, since 1968. With 40 musicians, a 30-member choir, a tenor soloist from the Hungarian State Opera, and conducted by Dr. Bálint Karosi from St. Peter’s Church, this will be a memorable closing event for the US debuts of the Hungarian State Opera and the National Ballet of Hungary and the first ever High Note Hungary Festival.

Photo: meinzahn/123rf.com, Konstantin Tronin/123rf.com, Anastasiia Skorobogatova/123rf.com, Jaroslav Moravcik/123rf.com

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