Until the past season, a production by András Mikó had featured in the programme for almost thirty years, since 1987. It had been performed 236 times.
The Hungarian State Opera puts on a new production of Nabucco, one of the most-beloved masterpieces by Verdi. Nabucco has been part of the repertoire of the Opera since 1968. The Hungarian State Opera puts on a new production of Nabucco, one of the most-beloved masterpieces by Verdi. Nabucco has been part of the repertoire of the Opera since 1968. Until the past season, a production by András Mikó had featured in the programme for almost thirty years, since 1987. It had been performed 236 times.
On 13 February, the production by Gergely Kesselyák premieres at the Erkel Theatre. The conductor-director first put Nabucco on stage in Szeged, at the open-air festival eleven years ago. His 2013 production of the piece first premiered at the Miskolc National Theatre. This production was later transferred to the Csokonai National Theatre, and now it can be seen by the Budapest audience as well. In an interview given to Opera Magazine Gergely Kesselyák said that while preparing for his second direction of this opera by Verdi he read a lot about the changes of the great historic periods. According to the ancients, every 2500 years the Earth is under a different cosmic radiation, which means that after every great change, humanity face newer and newer problems to solve. The new production (set designer: Edit Zeke, costume designer: Janó Papp) focuses on one of these great changes: when the age of the Taurus ended and that of the Aries began, the Babylonian Empire gave way to the era of the Old Testament – exactly what Nabucco is about.
The six performances are conducted by János Kovács. The main roles are originated by leading singers of the Opera. The title role is sung by Mihály Kálmándi, chamber singer for the 2013/14 season, and Alexandru Agache. In further roles: István Horváth and Zoltán Nyári as Ismaele; Szilvia Rálik, chamber singer for the 2014/15 season as Abigail in both casts; Szilvia Vörös and Erika Gál, chamber singer for the 2014/15 season as Fenena; István Rácz and András Palerdi as High Priest of Baal.
Alexandru Agache sang the title role for five seasons at the Arena di Verona, but he has already sung the same role on the most renowned opera stages of the world: Royal Opera London, New York Metropolitan, Chicago Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, Tokyo Opera and Houston Opera.
An exhibition entitled Dream Divas can also be seen from 13 February until 2 March at the Kodály Zoltán room of the Erkel Theatre. The display features unique costume designs by Janó Papp depicting classic operatic heroines. The large-scale puppets are dressed up as characters from operas by Puccini, Mozart or Erkel.