Le Corsaire

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June 2024


A pirate ship sails the high seas in the direction of Turkey. Captained by Conrad, it also bears his slave and friend, Birbanto.

Act 1 - The bazaar
In the bustle of a noisy marketplace, Lankendem is busy selling his slave girls. Conrad suddenly spies Medora on a balcony and immediately falls in love with her.
A fanfare announces the arrival of the governor, Seyd Pasha. Lankendem shows him three young women he want to sell to him. Unimpressed, the pasha rejects all three. Lankendem then presents him with the mysterious Gulnare. The pasha purchases the woman immediately. Lankendem also displays Medora, who enchants everyone with her beauty. The pasha is unable to resist such a temptation and buys her too. Conrad commands Ali to abduct Medora. The pirates then raid the village, taking both her and Lankendem with them to their secret hideaway, the pirate cave.

Act 2 - The pirate cave
Together at last, Conrad shows his hideout to Medora. Birbanto calls the pirates to bring out all the stolen treasures, the slave girls and Lankendem. Medora, Conrad and Ali dance to entertain everyone, and Medora pleads – invoking their love – for the slave girls to be released. Conrad agrees, but Birbanto protests and attempts to incite the pirates to mutiny against Conrad. The captain's prestige and power, however, are enough to dissuade the pirates from joining the plot.
Birbanto then devises another devious plan: he sprays a rose with a sleeping potion and compels Lankendem to give it to Medora. The unsuspecting girl then offers it to Conrad, who inhales the flower's scent and falls into a drugged sleep. The pirates return to the cave and attempt to kidnap Medora. In the fight, the girl seizes a dagger and slashes Birbanto's arm with it.
In all the confusion, Lankendem seizes Medora back and escapes with her. Birbanto is about to kill Conrad, but Ali disrupts his plan. Still dazed when he awakens, Conrad is heartbroken to discover that Medora has vanished. Birbanto pretends to know nothing, and swears loyalty to Conrad.

Act 3
First scene - The pasha's palace
Gulnare is entertaining the pasha when Lankendem enters the palace together with the veiled Medora. The pasha is delighted that Medora has been returned to him and declares that she will be his most favoured wife.

Second scene - The garden
Captivated by the beauty of his wives, the pasha dreams of his harem in his glorious garden.

Third scene - The pasha's palace
The pasha is awakened by the arrival of Conrad, Birbanto and the pirates, all dressed as pilgrims. The pasha invites them into the palace. Medora recognises Conrad underneath his disguise. Suddenly, the pilgrims cast off their robes to reveal their true identities. As mayhem breaks out in the palace, Conrad and his men chase off the pasha, along with his guards and wives. Everyone does a victory dance. Suddenly, Birbanto pursues Gulnare onto the scene, bringing him face to face with Conrad and Medora, who reveals Birbanto's treachery. Conrad shoots Birbanto dead. Then, together with Medora and Gulnare, he flees to the ship and the open sea.

Fourth scene - The gale
The pirate ship glides across the calm sea. Conrad mans the wheel while holding his beloved Medora in his arms. Suddenly, lightning lights up the darkened sky, signalling a wild gale. The winds rip off the sail and forking lightning splinters the ship's mast. The ship starts to sink in the mercilessly wild and tempestuous water.

As the wind dies down and the sea slowly calms, a bright moon rises in the sky. The moonlight illuminates Conrad and Medora, who have escaped the shipwreck by clinging to a rock. The two lovers give thanks for their miraculous deliverance, which has proved the power of their love.

Program and cast


Thomas Herzog


Maria BeckTatyjana MelnyikMaria Yakovleva


Gergő Ármin BalázsiGergely LeblancNyikolaj Ragyus


Ellina PokhodnykhYourim LeeClaudia García Carriera


Iurii KekaloVlagyiszlav MelnyikLouis Scrivener


Balázs MajorosRyosuke MorimotoYago Guerra


Dmitry TimofeevAndrás RónaiMotomi Kiyota


the students of the Hungarian National Ballet Institute

Hungarian State Opera


If all the seats are sold out for the selected time, but you still want to see the production on that day, 84 of the extremely affordable standing seats will be sold at the theatre, 2 hours before the start of the performance, with which you can visit the gallery on the 3rd floor. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office of the Budapest Opera House. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the stage can only be seen to a limited extent from the standing places and the side seats, but at the same time, following the performance is also supported by television broadcasting on the spot.

The Opera House is not only one of the most significant art relic of Budapest, but the symbol of the Hungarian operatic tradition of more than three hundred years as well. The long-awaited moment in Hungarian opera life arrived on September 27, 1884, when, in the presence of Franz Joseph I. the Opera House was opened amid great pomp and ceremony. The event, however, erupted into a small scandal - the curious crowd broke into the entrance hall and overran the security guards in order to catch a glimpse of the splendid Palace on Sugar út. Designed by Mikós Ybl, a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture, the construction lived up to the highest expectations. Ornamentation included paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art of the time: Károly Lotz, Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Alajos Stróbl. The great bronze chandelier from Mainz and the stage machinery moda by the Asphaleia company of Vienna were both considered as cutting-edge technology at that time.


Many important artists were guests here including Gustav Mahler, the composer who was director in Budapest from 1887 to 1891. He founded the international prestige of the institution, performing Wagner operas as well as Magcagni’ Cavalleria Rusticana. The Hungarian State Opera has always maintained high professional standards, inviting international stars like Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Monserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, José Cura, Thomas Hampson and Juan Diego Flórez to perform on its stage. The Hungarian cast include outstanding and renowed artists like Éva Marton, Ilona Tokody, Andrea Rost, Dénes Gulyás, Attila Fekete and Gábor Bretz.

Attila Nagy
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