Rock-opera production in two parts, in Hungarian, with Hungarian and English subtitles
By far the most successful of the Hungarian crop of rock operas, ever since its original album release Stephen, the King has had not only symphonic features but has also been pervaded by the vocal, closed number structure characteristic of traditional operas, the presence of large tableaus, and instrumentation that gives the rock music universal perspectives. The poems for Levente Szörényi, who approached one of the fundamental stories in Hungarian history through Miklos Boldizsar’s play titled Ezredforduló (Turn of the Millennium), was written by his old co-author János Bródy. The Hungarian State Opera production staged the work with operatic instrumentation and opera singers in 2020. Thanks to the entirely symphonic score by composer Levente Gyöngyösi and the opera singers participating in the production, the work completely sheds the need for amplification, allowing new treasures to be discovered in the atmosphere of Hungary’s largest theatre, the Erkel in the interpretation of Miklós Szinetár, the doyen of Hungarian directors.
This production has been made possible through the mediation of the Zikkurat Stage Agency and Melody Kft.
"Everything on the stage of director Miklós Szinetár is presented with elemental force. That is partly due to the genre of the opera, the scenery, the large cast and everything that come out of the orchestra pit (...). Levente Gyöngyösi (…) created such a powerful arrangement for winds and strings, including harp, that the orchestration transforms every tune originally composed for broken chords, solo guitar and rocker voices coarse from cigarette smoke into ethereal music. And if there is something about the opera version of Stephen, the King that is clearly a plus compared to the original rock opera, it is the choir, performed by the Hungarian State Opera Chorus (directed by Gábor Csiki).
F. Tóth Benedek, Index