On 18 June 2023, the Hungarian State Opera celebrates the greatest Hungarian soprano of the 20th century on the occasion of her birthday with performances by her former and current students, as well as the winners of the Éva Marton International Singing Competition. Special guest star of the evening is one of today's most exciting rising tenors, Jonathan Tetelman. The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra is conducted by general music director Balázs Kocsár, the gala is directed by artistic director András Almási-Tóth.
Éva Marton, one of the most outstanding dramatic sopranos in the world, has sung the most beautiful and difficult roles of Verdi, Puccini, Richard Strauss and Wagner, as well as verismo, in the most renowned opera houses of Europe and America for more than 30 years, including London's Covent Garden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, the Vienna State Opera, Bayreuth, La Scala in Milan, the Verona Arena, the Salzburg Festival, and the San Francisco and Chicago Operas. For more than a decade and a half, she was a regular performer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she was a huge success in Wagner roles and as Turandot, among others. Among her world-famous partners were Birgit Nilsson, Edita Gruberová, José Carreras, and Plácido Domingo, while she worked with outstanding conductors such as Christoph von Dohnányi, James Levine, Georg Solti, Zubin Metha, and Lorin Maazel.
The Kossuth Prize and Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen recipient opera singer has devoted her energy to teaching and passing on the knowledge she had acquired in the world's leading opera houses for almost two decades. The gala features her students Ildikó Megyimórecz, Natália Tuznik, and Artúr Szeleczki, who will together perform the terzet from Johann Strauss II's operetta Die Fledermaus, in addition to Marguerite's Aria from Faust by Gounod (Ildikó Megyimórecz), Rosalinda's Czardas from Die Fledermaus (Natália Tuznik), and Federico's romance from L'Arlesiana by Cilea (Artúr Szeleczki).
Former winners of the Éva Marton International Singing Competition will also greet the renowned Hungarian soprano with arias that they had previously performed with great success in the finals of the competition: Mongolian baritone Badral Chulunbaatar, a soloist of the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater, Russian soprano Julia Muzychenko, who is active mainly in German and French opera houses, Serbian soprano Sonja Šarić, employed in her country and throughout Europe, and Russian tenor Andrei Danilov of Deutsche Opera Berlin will perform excerpts from Rigoletto, La traviata, Norma, and Les contes d'Hoffmann, respectively.
Special guest star of the gala is Chilean-born American tenor Jonathan Tetelman. The opera singer, who became known for his elaborate, lyrical tone, charming appearance and striking stage presence, grew up as an adopted child in New Jersey, completed his singing studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York as a baritone, and then at the Mannes School of Music as a tenor. In recent years, in addition to the United States, he has had great success in several opera houses from London to Vienna in Europe as Alfredo (La traviata), Don José (Carmen), Loris Ipanov (Fedora), Canio (Pagliacci), Turiddu (Cavalleria rusticana), Werther, Rodolfo (La bohème), Cavaradossi (Tosca), and Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly). On the occasion of Éva Marton's birthday, the American star will sing the most popular arias from the operas Cavalleria rusticana, Tosca, and Turandot.
At the birthday gala, rector Andrea Vigh and Andrea Meláth, head of the vocal department, representing the Liszt Ferenc University of Music, and Szilveszter Ókovács, general director of the Hungarian State Opera, will greet Éva Marton.