The Woman without a Shadow

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May 2023 Next

Spirit lady seeks surrogate mother on tight deadline, but turned-to-stone husband and devoured-by-the-earth surrogate parents impede success. Lots of murders are planned, but thwarted by supernatural means. The final reward for self-sacrifice is a shadow. Stone husband wakes up, surrogate parents are happy, and their unborn child sings an aria with accomplishment beyond its years in praise of the – in its view – positive denouement.


Opera in three acts, in German with Hungarian and English surtitles

Program and cast


The Emperor

István Kovácsházi

The empress

Eszter Sümegi

The Nurse

Ildikó Komlósi

The Messenger of the Spirits

Csaba Sándor

The Guardian of the Threshold

Eszter Zemlényi

The Apparition of a Youth

Botond Ódor

The Falcon

Anikó Bakonyi

A Voice from Above

Bernadett Fodor

Barak, the dyer

Csaba Szegedi

Wife of Barak

Szilvia Rálik

The one-eyed man, Barak

Lajos Geiger

The one-armed man, Barak

Ferenc Cserhalmi

The hunchback, Barak

István Horváth

The voices of the town

Csaba SándorIstván HorváthLajos GeigerFerenc Cserhalmi

The children

Dalma SüleZsófia KálnayBori KeszeiAnikó BakonyiEszter ZemlényiBernadett Fodor

Three servants

Dalma SüleBori KeszeiZsófia Kálnay

Hungarian State Opera

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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