Hungarian State Opera House tickets 23 March 2025 - Bánk bán (The Viceroy Bánk) | GoComGo.com

Bánk bán (The Viceroy Bánk)

Hungarian State Opera House, Opera House, Budapest, Hungary
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11 AM
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US$ 80

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If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Budapest, Hungary
Starts at: 11:00
Acts: 3
Intervals: 1
Duration: 3h 10min
Sung in: Hungarian
Titles in: Hungarian,English

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Cast
Performers
Conductor: Balázs Kocsár
Tenor: Boldizsár László (Bánk bán)
Orchestra: Hungarian State Opera Orchestra
Mezzo-Soprano: Ildikó Komlósi (Gertrud)
Bass-Baritone: Karoly Szemeredy (Endre II)
Creators
Composer: Ferenc Erkel
Choreographer: Árpád Köntzei
Writer: Arthur Roger Crane
Director: Attila Vidnyánszky
Librettist: Béni Egressy
Dramaturge: Eszter Orbán
Librettist: Kálmán Nádasdy
Set Designer: Oleksandr Bilozub
Costume designer: Viktória Nagy
Overview

In 1844, following on the heels of his triumph in the competition to set Ferenc Kölcsey's Himnusz – today the national anthem of Hungary – to music, Ferenc Erkel set about looking at the possibilities for using József Katona's much-attacked drama Bánk Bán as the subject for an opera.

History made the period of composition a lengthy one: first came the Hungarian War of Independence of 1848/49, and censorship by the dictatorship that followed meant that the audience would have to wait until 9 March 1861 before the work could be performed in its entirety at Pest's National Theatre. As a result of, or in spite of, the high-level additions and revisions, the remarkable aspect of the following performances of the ever-acclaimed Bánk Bán is the fact that the text and musical material were created using both the work's original version and the 1939 revision – the one best know to the wider audience – credited to Kálmán Nádasdy. The storyline thus most closely mirrors the thinking of original playwright József Katona, without forcing us to dispense with the now-timeless grand aria "Hazám, hazám" ("My homeland, my homeland").

History
Premiere of this production: 09 March 1861, Pesti Nemzeti Magyar Szinház

Bánk bán is an opera in 3 acts by composer Ferenc Erkel. The work uses a Hungarian-language libretto by Béni Egressy which is based on a stage play of the same name by József Katona. (Bán is ban in English, similar to a viceroy, a duke or palatine.) The main storyline is based on the assassination of Queen Gertrude, wife of Andrew II in 1213. The opera was first performed at the Pesti Nemzeti Magyar Szinház in Pest on 9 March 1861.

Synopsis

Act 1

King Endre II, the monarch of the country, is fighting abroad while Gertrude, his queen, who is of Meranian birth, plays hostess to the leading members of the Court (in the first place foreigners) at prodigal feasts. Bán Bánk, the king's deputy, is touring the poverty-ridden country while Otto, the Queen's younger brother, is trying to seduce Bánk's beautiful wife Melinda. A group of angry Magyar nobles headed by Bán Petur are plotting a conspiracy against the queen, anxious for the fate of their homeland and the honour of Bánk's wife. Petur has sent for Bánk, hoping to recruit him for their cause. The Bán arrives, but is outraged that his old friend would dare threaten the throne. When Petur informs him of Otto's advances toward Melinda, however, Bánk promises that he shall attend their meeting.

Act 2

Bánk, distraught, prays over his nation and his good name. On the porch of the castle of Visegrád, Tiborc, an old peasant, tells Bánk about the desperate poverty of the entire country, a grave consequence of the wasteful extravagance of the foreigners, but Bánk is so overcome by the tragedy of his own position that he listens only halfheartedly. It is revealed that Tiborc, a vassal of the Bán, saved his life at a battle long ago; Bánk promises his aid. Otto, encouraged by the Queen's open approval, attempts to seduce Melinda, without success. He drugs and rapes her. The desperate woman staggers to her husband half insane with shame. In his bitter grief Bánk blasts a terrible curse at his own son, but then raises to himself the innocent little boy, giving solace to his wife. Finally, he asks Tiborc to escort Melinda and their little son to their home, a castle in East Hungary, beyond the River Tisza.

In the throne-room Bánk calls the Queen to account for plunging the country into poverty and for the honour of his betrayed wife. Gertrude counters him with contemptuous scorn and draws a dagger. Bánk wrests the dagger from her hand, and in the scuffle, she is fatally stabbed. Bánk laments over the actions he has been forced to take.

Act 3

Tiborc reaches the bank of the Tisza River with Melinda and her little son. In a fit of insanity, Melinda throws herself into the waves together with her son, within view of the helpless old peasant.

Endre II returns. Standing by his queen's funeral bier, he calls to the nobles to account for the murder, who deny having had a part in the assault on the Queen. Bánk, however, admits that, convinced of her guilt which was known to all, he killed the Queen deliberately. King and Viceroy face each other with swords almost drawn when Tiborc arrives with the corpses of Melinda and the child. The sword drops from Bánk's grip, and he collapses over the bodies of his wife and son. The nobles and retainers pray for the repose of all the dead.

Venue Info

Hungarian State Opera House - Budapest
Location   Andrássy út 22

The Hungarian State Opera House (Hungarian: Magyar Állami Operaház) is a neo-Renaissance opera house located in central Budapest, on Andrássy út. The Hungarian State Opera House is the main opera house of the country and the second largest opera house in Budapest and in Hungary. Today, the opera house is home to the Budapest Opera Ball, a society event dating back to 1886. The Theatre was designed by Miklós Ybl, a major figure of 19th-century Hungarian architecture.

Construction began in 1875, funded by the city of Budapest and by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary, and the new house opened to the public on the 27 September 1884. Before the closure of the "Népszínház" in Budapest, it was the third largest opera building in the city; today it is the second largest opera house in Budapest and in Hungary.

Touring groups had performed operas in the city from the early 19th century, but as Legány notes, "a new epoch began after 1835 when part of the Kasa National Opera and Theatrical Troupe arrived in Buda". They took over the Castle Theatre and, in 1835, were joined by another part of the troupe, after which performances of operas were given under conductor Ferenc Erkel. By 1837 they had established themselves at the Magyar Színház (Hungarian Theatre) and by 1840, it had become the "Nemzeti Színház" (National Theatre). Upon its completion, the opera section moved into the Hungarian Royal Opera House, with performances quickly gaining a reputation for excellence in a repertory of about 45 to 50 operas and about 130 annual performances. 

Many important artists were guests here including the composer Gustav Mahler, who was director in Budapest from 1888 to 1891 and Otto Klemperer, who was music director for three years from 1947 to 1950.

It is a richly decorated building and is considered one of the architect's masterpieces. It was built in neo-Renaissance style, with elements of Baroque. Ornamentation includes paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art including Bertalan Székely, Mór Than, and Károly Lotz. Although in size and capacity it is not among the greatest, in beauty and the quality of acoustics the Budapest Opera House is considered to be amongst the finest opera houses in the world.

The auditorium holds 1,261 people. It is horseshoe-shaped and – according to measurements done in the 1970s by a group of international engineers – has the third best acoustics in Europe after La Scala in Milan and the Palais Garnier in Paris. Although many opera houses have been built since the Budapest Opera House is still among the best in terms of acoustics.

In front of the building are statues of Ferenc Erkel and Franz Liszt. Liszt is the best-known Hungarian composer. Erkel composed the Hungarian national anthem, and was the first music director of the Opera House; he was also the founder of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra.

Each year the season lasts from September to the end of June and, in addition to opera performances, the House is home to the Hungarian National Ballet.

There are guided tours of the building in six languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Hungarian) almost every day.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Budapest, Hungary
Starts at: 11:00
Acts: 3
Intervals: 1
Duration: 3h 10min
Sung in: Hungarian
Titles in: Hungarian,English
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