Christianity will be the theme of the Hungarian State Opera’s 2019/2020 season, it has been announced.
Director Szilveszter Ókovács told MTI that the opera performances on the program this season will deal with Christianity in a "deep and thorough manner".
Ókovács said that these themes will include not only Biblical stories, but operas that celebrate or even clash with Christianity, such as Wagner’s Tannhauser.
The director said the season will wind up in May 2020 with a Christianity-themed festival, held in the run-up to the 52nd International Eucharistic Conference which Budapest will host in September.
Touching on the Hungarian State Opera’s autumn tour, Ókovács said the opera and the Hungarian State Ballet are scheduled for 14 performances of six productions at the David H Koch Theater in New York’s Lincoln Center.
“The chance to perform full productions in New York is a first for the opera and presents an “enormous opportunity,” he said.
The opera will also take part in many international events this year. As part of the Lincoln Center program, the iconic Hungarian opera Bánk bán will be sung on the 125th anniversary of the composer Ferenc Erkel’s death.
Between August 31st and September 9th, the opera will bring Donizetti’s comedy L’elisir d’amore, sung in Hungarian, to eight venues in Transylvania. A bespoke fitted lorry will serve as the stage for the production.
The opera will also visit Italy, as part of the 2018/2019 Puccini’s Italy season, on September 14-20th. It will perform in six cities, including Lucca, the birthplace of Puccini.
At the end of September, the opera will tour the capitals of the other Visegrád Group countries: Prague, Warsaw and Bratislava. Czech, Polish and Slovakian artists, as well as Hungarians, will take the stage together during the tour.