Night of Stars Awards Announced

On 30 June the audience could applaud the brightest stars of the Opera once more. During a spectacular gala concert, the Nights of Stars Awards were announced for the third time to artists who excelled themselves in the season closed on 28 June. The Chamber Singers of 2014/15: Erika Gál, Gabriella Létay Kiss, Szilvia Rálik. The Étoile of 2014/15: Zoltán Oláh.


The awards have been established by the management to honour the talent and performance of the soloist of the Hungarian State Opera. Throughout Europe the most prestigious award is the title of Kammersänger. This has been adopted as the Hungarian State Opera Chamber Singer to be awarded to opera singers. For ballet dancers, the Hungarian State Opera Étoile Award is to build on the French ballet tradition.


The fanfare composed by Attila Pacsay is a constant tune since the first Night of Stars to signal the announcement of an award. The melody composed especially for these festive moments welcomed mezzo-soprano Erika Gál, sopranos Gabriella Létay Kiss and Szilvia Rálik as well as ballet dancer Zoltán Oláh to accept the most prestigious awards of the Opera.


Erika Gál appeared on stage 36 times in the past season, and to crown her achievements, she debuted inthe role of Amneris in Aida, a coproduction of the Opera and the Bartók Plus Opera Festival, directed by János Mohácsi. Gabriella Létay Kiss performed 6 roles (4 major roles) 32 times. In recent years she has been a most inspired singer of lyric soprano roles. Szilvia Rálik was awarded for playing dramatic heroines. In the past ten months she sung three major Strauss roles and she debuted to great acclaim as Barak's wife in the Hungarian premiére of Die Frau ohne Schatten and in the title role of Janaček's Jenůfa. Zoltán Oláh was awarded the title of Étoile for the second time, which he already won in the year of its establishment. As ballet principal of the Hungarian National Ballet, in the 2013/14 season he proved one more time that he performs to the highest of standards in major classical roles and in modern dance choreographies 


The awards were presented by director general Szilveszter Ókovács, artistic director Ferenc Anger and ballet director Tamás Solymosi during the programme conducted by music director Péter Halász. The gala was compiled to honour the best moments of the season that consisted of more than 500 events. A thousand seats were place in front of St Stephen's Basilica for those who wished to follow the concert on giant led walls. Duna Television recorded the show to be broadcast at a later date.


The winners received a procelain swan, a symbol both to opera and ballet. The statuette made by Herend Procelain Manufactory is encased in a genuine silver padded, art deco style, antique frame. The Chamber Singer and Étoile titles are to be worn for one year, which also entitles them to a higher fee – right up until the 2015 Night of Stars as the Opera awards its excellent opera singers and ballet dancers at the end of each season.