The OPERA presents Mahler's monumental Symphony No. 8 at the Opera House on 1 October 2023. The ensembles consisting of more than 300 artists are conducted by Gábor Hollerung.
Since 2020, the Hungarian State Opera vowed to present Mahler's grandiose Symphony of a Thousand every year, on international music day under the baton of renowned conductors. In 2023, soloists Mária Celeng, Andrea Brassói-Jőrös, Orsolya Sáfár, Andrea Szántó, Mária Farkasréti, István Horváth, Zsolt Haja, and András Palerdi, the 100-piece orchestra, the 150-piece chorus (chorus director: Gábor Csiki), and 50-piece children's chorus (chorus director: Nikolett Hajzer) are conducted by Franz Liszt Price recipient Gábor Hollerung, music director of the Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra. The OPERA has already presented the work this summer as a major classical music event of the Veszprém–Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture project.
Mahler's piece, despite its huge scale, is basically a two-movement work inspired by chamber music, the performance apparatus of which the author swelled to a gigantic size in order to evoke the entire universe in his music. The first movement of the work, which exudes sincere serenity, is the medieval Latin hymn beginning with Veni, Creator Spiritus, which glorifies the creative spirit, and is typically sung at Pentecost, while the second movement is the closing scene of Goethe's Faust. The two movements glorify the fulfillment of heavenly happiness and the redemptive power of love with a sublime atmosphere. The work, which combines a symphony with various vocal works – song cycle, motet, cantata, oratorio – is not coincidentally associated with a similarly grandiose work, Symphony No. 9 by Beethoven.
Photo by Valter Berecz