Easter with Mascagni

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April 2021
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Cavalleria rusticana


The world literally went crazy for this one-act by Pietro Mascagni when he burst onto the opera scene with his daring work that opened new boundaries for the genre, and which hundreds of others would attempt to imitate. Such was its success that he would never equal it in any of his later works. In one of the chief examples of verismo, Mascagni's protagonists are everyday people who fall victim to their own, unbridled passions.
Captivating and sensual music with gripping dramatic tension. Love, jealousy – and revenge.


Conductor: Antonello Allemandi
Turiddu: Boldizsár László
Santuzza: Erika Gál
Lucia: Bernadett Wiedemann
Alfio: Zoltán Kelemen
Lola: Zsófia Kálnay


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Messa di Gloria


Those who have seen Mascagni’s famous one-act Cavalleria rusticana will never forget the Easter Hymn. The tragic story taking place at Easter is a perfect match for Messa di Gloria, which exudes the euphoria of resurrection, but which is above all a Southern Italian mass of innocent faith. It is also of no little relevance that Mascagni himself rehearsed and conducted his opera in Budapest, and as rumour has it, its success here ignited it like a rocket on its way to becoming a worldwide sensation


Conductor: Antonello Allemandi
Tenor: Boldizsár László
Baritone: Zoltán Kelemen

Program and cast

Erkel Theatre

Opened in 1911 originally, the Erkel Theatre is Hungary’s largest theatre building. Its history is intertwined with the golden age of Hungarian opera performance, with such luminaries as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Éva Marton and Grace Bumbry all having graced the stage of a building whose acoustics are considered the stuff of opera legend.

After being shuttered up for more than five years with its fate in doubt following closure in 2007, the Hungarian government last year provided 1.7 billion forints in grants for the theatre’s renewal, allowing the Hungarian State Opera to renovate the Erkel Theatre to a standard suitable for holding performances.

Much of the refurbishments took place behind the scenes, with soloist and shared dressing rooms and common areas refitted and expanded. In addition, the stage’s technical equipment has undergone significant modernisation, while the building’s service systems (water, plumbing, heating and ventilation) have also been brought up to date.

Audiences will now step into an auditorium with a completely new look, while every effort was made to ensure that the building's fantastic acoustic properties remained unchanged. A factor that will greatly increase comfort is the modern ventilation system installed in the seating area. Although the number of seats has been reduced from 1,935 to 1,819 by refitting the rows of seats for more comfort, the theatre nevertheless retains its rank as the highest capacity theatre in Hungary – and in Eastern Central Europe.

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