Ferenc Erkel

Hunyadi László

mixed opera 12 rehearsal

March 11., Friday 13:00

Hungarian State Opera

Opera in three acts, in Hungarian, with Hungarian and English surtitles

János Hunyadi is responsible for the tolling of bells around the world; Mátyás Hunyadi is the hero of a string of folk tales; László Hunyadi inspired “only” an opera. An opera that is actually about his younger brother, the last great King of Hungary, or at least the events leading up to his rule. However, our current aim is not to raise László from the dead, who was the reason for and explanation to why Mátyás Hunyadi ended up on the throne. True that the original score, heard for the first time in almost ninety years, provides an excellent opportunity to play the part of the knight, executed while he was still young. The purpose of this production is to stage a piece authentic to the original and to use it to showcase the Opera’s artistic and technical possibilities.


Hungarian State Opera
March 11, 2022
Start time
1 p.m.
End time
4 p.m.
Ferenc Erkel
Béni Egressy
Szilveszter Ókovács
Artistic consultant
András Almási-Tóth
Visual designer
Krisztina Lisztopád
Animation designer
Zsombor Czeglédi
Tamás Solymosi
English surtitles
Arthur Roger Crane
Chorus director
Gábor Csiki


Premiere: March 13, 2022

Hungarian State Opera
Hungarian State Opera
Hungarian State Opera
Hungarian State Opera
Hungarian State Opera
Hungarian State Opera


Act I
The death of Cillei. Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade) Castle, 1456. Mátyás Hunyadi assembles with his family's supporters in the legendary castle of the Hunyadis, where only a few months earlier János Hunyadi had beaten back an overwhelming Turkish force, thus saving Europe from the Ottoman threat for the next seventy years.
László Hunyadi daydreams about Mária Gara, his betrothed. Rozgonyi warns him of the danger to his life. Cillei arrives, and László Hunyadi confronts him over his murderous plot, prompting Cillei to draw a dagger. László's men, however, jump out from their hiding places and kill the regent. The murder fills the king with terror, and while he does not dare to openly oppose the Hunyadis, he privately plans revenge.
Act II
The king's oath. On the Hunyadis' Temesvár (Timișoara) estate, Erzsébet Szilágyi dreads that Cillei's murder will mean death for her sons. Her increasingly raving vision of the future predicts the tragic events to come.
When the king comes to visit, Erzsébet begs him to treat the Hunyadi boys benevolently.
The king feigns friendship. Meanwhile, the king has fallen in love with Mária Gara, which does not escape the notice of her father, the intriguing and power-hungry palatine, Miklós Gara. Erzsébet has only a few minutes to enjoy her sons' presence without worry. The king has summoned them and made a peace offering. Gara plays the contradictory situation to his own ends, fulfilling his political ambitions. The king publicly swears that he will not seek revenge for Cillei's murder.
Intrigues and execution. Buda, 1457. The king daydreams about Mária. Gara takes advantage of this, promising the king his daughter's hand, and also lies that the Hunyadis intend to assassinate him at the wedding. The terrified king leaves László's fate to Gara.
Palatine Gara and the king's troops disrupt the wedding of László Hunyadi and Mária Gara and throw László into a dungeon.