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On Easter Sunday (31 March 2024), during the curtain call following the final Parsifal performance of the season, the popular bass-baritone was surprised with the announcement that he would be one of the recipients of the Hungarian State Opera's greatest honour for the next season. He was presented with a swan-shaped award made by the Herend Porcelain Manufactory by artistic director András Almási-Tóth, amidst the celebration of his colleagues and the audience.

As a the winner of the first prize at the First International Mozart Singing Competition, Péter Kálmán made his debut at the Budapest Opera House as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte in 1993. He has since  appeared at the Hungarian State Opera in various roles including Figaro and Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Figaro and Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Belcore and Dulcamara (L'elisir d'amore), Beckmesser (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Cipolla (Mario and the Magician), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Don Pasquale, Elviro (Serse), Faninal (Der Rosenkavalier), Gianni Schicchi, Lindorf, Coppélius, Miracle, Dappertutto (Les contes d'Hoffmann), Nick Shadow (The Rake's Progress), and Woland (The Master and Margarita). This season he has performed the role of Klingsor in Parsifal, Alberich in Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, and Götterdämmerung as well as Scarpia in Tosca. In the upcoming season he is to appear in the title role of Falstaff and as Méphistophélès in Faust.

Beside the appearances of the excellent bass-baritone in Hungary, he is a sought-after singer around the world. He was a leading soloist at the Zurich Opera for seven years and achieved fame at Glyndebourne, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Salzburg Festival, Theater an der Wien, and Seattle Opera. Next season, he will make his debut at the Royal Opera House in London and the New York Metropolitan Opera as Bartolo.

With the chamber singer award, modeled after the Kammersänger title known from German opera houses, the management of the OPERA wishes to express its appreciation for its outstanding active soloists, appreciating their talent and stage performance. A maximum of three people can hold the title of Chamber Singer, which also comes with special remuneration during the season, an opera singer, who has not received the Kossuth Award yet, may be awarded the title a total of three times. In the past decade, the accolades were presented at the end-of-season Night of Stars gala. As an innovation, they are now presented during the season, allowing the audience to share in the surprise and joy of their favorite artists. In February, it was Polina Pasztircsák who received the title after the final performance of the Arabella series in the season.

Photo by Valter Berecz