Carmen - Musical

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September 2024

In a small Spanish town, an engagement is being celebrated: Mayor Mendoza, the local mayor, is marrying off his daughter, Catarina, to José Rivera. However, the event takes an unexpected turn when a circus troupe arrives led by Carmen. The fiery, seductive, unrestrained nature of Carmen captivates José so much that he is willing to give up his previously balanced life for her. Frank Wildhorn's musical, directed by Zsolt Homonnay, presents to the audience the eternal, captivating passion of women, the instinctive and insatiable attraction between man and woman, in a 21st-century, extravagant setting. The Budapest Operetta Theater's new domestic premiere uniquely combines dramatic musical theater with elements of a spectacularly visual show, with a focus on the circus as a genre and stage environment. The breathtaking music sweeps everyone away, just as it does José with Carmen...

Program and cast

Conductor: Tassonyi Zsolt, Oberfrank Péter



Frank Wildhorn - Composer

Jack Murphy - Based on the book by Norman Allen

Dénes Orbán János - Hungarian text, lyrics

Zsolt Tassonyi - Musical director

Mónika Szabó - Conductor of choir

Zsófia Pirók m. v. - Flamenco dance teacher

Incze Kitti - Assistant choreographer

Rebeka Birkenstock - Assistant director

Márta Angyal - Director's colleague

Balázs Sándi - Lead sound engineer

Ákos Bodor - Light designer

Péter Somfai - Visual effects

Sándor Oláh - Scenic artist

Diana Sparrow - Costume designer

Anni Füzér - Costume designer

Erzsébet Túri - Set designer

Dániel Krizsán - Choreographer

Zsolt Homonnay - Director



Veronika Nádasi - Carmen

Annamari Dance - Carmen

Franciska Lipics (e.h. SZFE) - Carmen

Dénes Kocsis - José Rivera, police lieutenant

Tibor Nemes (e.h. SZFE) - José Rivera, police lieutenant

Balázs Tassonyi - José Rivera, police lieutenant

Attila Dolhai - Garcia, knife thrower

Sándor György-Rózsa - Garcia, knife thrower

Zsolt Homonnay - Garcia, knife thrower

Flóra Széles - Katarina, the mayor's daughter

Kelemen Fanni - Katarina, the mayor's daughter

Nagy Alma Virág (e.h. SZFE) - Katarina, the mayor's daughter

Kata Janza - Fortune Teller

Nikolett Füredi - Fortune Teller

Zsuzsi Vágó - Fortune Teller

Andrea Szulák - Inez, Katarina's aunt

Éva Auksz - Inez, Katarina's aunt

Anna Peller - Inez, Katarina's aunt

Lóránt Nagy - Zuniga, police captain

Attila Németh - Zuniga, police captain

Attila Miklós - Zuniga, police captain

Tamás Földes - Mendoza, mayor

György Szomor - Mendoza, mayor

Attila Pálfalvy - Mendoza, mayor

Zoltán Kiss - Inmar, José's friend

László Szerényi - Inmar, José's friend

Bálint Kator - Inmar, José's friend

Péter Laki - Circus stage master

Attila Serbán - Circus stage master

Ottó Magócs - Circus stage master

Alexandra Faragó - Isabelle, a classy young lady

Petra Kálmán - Isabelle, a classy young lady

Daniéla Szixtina Paláncz (PBS) - Isabelle, a classy young lady

Péter Richárd - Carlos, policeman

Hristos Petridisz - Carlos, policeman

Balázs Angler - Kelvin, policeman

Imre Roland - Kelvin, policeman

Attila Bardóczy - Father Battista

Soma Langer - Father Battista

Sándor Köleséri - Circus announcer

Pál Fedinecz - Circus announcer

Luis Eduardo Castagno - Flamenco guitarist

Ottilia Csengeri - Madame Loupe

Budapest Operetta Theater


The history of the Operetta Theatre begins with the name of Károly Somossy who used to run an Orpheum in the building at 17 Nagymező street since 1884. In 1890 he bought the house and had it transformed into an entertainment house by the Felner and Helmer company, which opened in 1894. Its interior design was exalted by all accounts. Then the venture went bankrupt in 1899, Károly Albrech restaurant keeper took over the operation and from 1902 a Variety Show started to work there with the name of Fővárosi Orfeum, under the management of Imre Waldmann.

The Americal theatre entrepreneur, Ben Blumenthal, after having purchased the Vígszínházm also rented the Orpheum in 1922. The refurbished theatre opened its gates on 23 December 1922 first as Fővárosi Színház, a year later taking up the name of Fővárosi Operett Színház.

From 1929 to 1930 the Fővárosi Művész Színház (Arts Theatre) worked there with leadership of Gyula Kabos. From September 1930 the theatre took up again its old name and was lead by Dezső Sebestyén but it was forced to close several times because of the scanty attendance. From 1936 to 1938 it hosted the Arts Theatre of Artúr Bárdos.

After the siege of Budapest the theatre was opened in march 1945 with the popular operetta by Imre Kálmá, the Csárdáskirálynő. This soon became the biggest Hungarian and international success of the play. The theatre was nationalized in 1949, and Margit Gáspár appointed as director. The general renovation of the building had already been decided in 1960 but it was only realized in the second part of the sixties. In 1966 the company moved into the former building of the Petőfi Theatre, and the reconstruction started according to the plans of the Középüettervező Vállalat (Company of Public Constructions). The designers were: Halmi Iván, Pozsay Csaba és Vajda Ferenc. The festive opening was held on 17 April 1971, again with a staging of Csárdáskirálynő. This was the thousandth performance of Imre Kálmán’s operetta.

 Imre Halasi, who used to be the manager of the theatre from 1996 to 2000, changed the name of the theatre form 1. January 1998. Since then it is called Budapesti Operettszínház (Budapest Operetta Theatre). Another reconstruction of the building can be tied to the name of Halasi, the aim of which was the restoration of the original milieu. The designer, Mária Siklós, tried to free the building from the construction errors that got there during the several earlier reconstruction.

In March 2002 a studio theatre for 100 people was inaugurated, the so called Storage Room Theatre situated in the theatre’s wing in Mozsár street.


Architectural description

The unique character the theatre comes from the interesting features of the plot division. The main facade and the entrance of the Budapest Operetta Theatre opens from the Nagymező Street, however the functions of the theatre are built in to the inside courtyards framed by houses between the Andrássy, Nagymező and Mozsár streets. Therefore the mass of the auditorium and the flyloft is not perceptible from the street.

The two-storey  mass of the main facade was built at the turn of the century, according to the plans of the famous Viennese theatre designer duo, Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer. The entrance axe is surrounded at the entire height of the building by arched closed pediment. The entrance projection is articulated with two opening axes. The windows on the first floor are squared closed, while those on the second floor are arched. On the attics closing this part of the building on the complete with of the projection stands a lyre indicating the function of the building.

The side wings are articulated with three opening axes and pilasters, which surround the first and second floors. Between the ground and first floor a dividing edge and balusters run around.  The first floor openings are arched, while those on the second floor are squared, closed with decorative frame and keystone. The ground floor surface is horizontally pointed. The wall plane of the storeys is punch coloured; the pilasters, the sides, the ornaments and the window frames are white.

The auditorium is fan-shaped with balconies on the first and second floor. The stage is framed with accented proscenium wall and proscenium boxes.

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