Hungarian State Opera House tickets 13 April 2025 - Mario and the Magician / Bluebeard's Castle | GoComGo.com

Mario and the Magician / Bluebeard's Castle

Hungarian State Opera House, Opera House, Budapest, Hungary
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11 AM
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US$ 79

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).

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Budapest, Hungary
Starts at: 11:00
Intervals: 1
Duration: 2h 30min
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
Bass: András Palerdi (Bluebeard)
Bass: András Palerdi (Cipolla)
Actor: Balázs Csémy (Mario)
Mezzo-Soprano: Erika Gál (Judith)
Orchestra: Hungarian State Opera Orchestra
Conductor: János Kovács
Creators
Composer: Béla Bartók
Composer: János Vajda
Librettist: Béla Balázs
Author: Charles Perrault
Librettist: Gábor Bókkon
Director: Péter Galambos
Overview

Two brilliant 20th century one-act operas in one evening: both Hungarian, and both about the deepest functioning of the human mind and how the psyche can be influenced.

How far do we let other people into our minds, our soul, and our past? And what happens if someone pushes their way into our consciousness even though we haven't let them in? Béla Bartók and Béla Balázs's world-famous opera offers insight into the various layers and stages of the relationship between men and women, while János Vajda's work based on the famous novella by Thomas Mann depicts the effects of blind extremism and mass hypnosis.

"The staging was entrancing, and the music very telling: As the public becomes more fascinated and controlled by Cipolla, the music becomes more popular, more accessible and danceable."

Eric A. Gordon, People’s World

"You do what you like. Or is it possible you have ever not done what you liked – or even, maybe, what you didn't like?" The atmosphere is an unpleasant one in this memory of Torre de Venere. The audience members at an Italian resort town fall, against their will, under the influence of a remarkable magician – with the exception of one person.

"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil," said Thomas Mann, whose highly influential novel Mario and the Magician János Vajda use as the basis for his opera of the same name, one of the most successful and affecting works in modern Hungarian opera history. The work will be shown at the Opera House in a production directed by Péter Galambos, with Krisztián Cser in the principal role.

Bartók's sole opera provides a glimpse, by way of seven symbolic doors, into the secrets of the human soul. The enigmatic work follows the evolution of the relationship between two people and the different stages of getting to know each other and growing apart refracted allegorically through symbols with many meanings. All the while, it suggests that it is not the drama of a man and a woman unfolding before the viewer's eyes, but rather a man's drama and a woman's drama. As director Péter Galambos put it at the time of the 2013 premiere: “The deeper they probe into understanding their own demons, the more uncertain they become. Their curiosity, however, is still greater than their fear. Confronting our demons – no matter how painful it may be – leads to an understanding of ourselves.

History
Premiere of this production: 30 November 1988

Mario and the Magician (Mario und der Zauberer) is a novella written by German author Thomas Mann in 1929. It was published by Martin Secker in 1930 in an English translation by Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter, and her translation was included in Thomas Mann's Stories of Three Decades, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1936.

Premiere of this production: 24 May 1918, Royal Hungarian Opera House, Budapest

Bluebeard's Castle is a one-act expressionist opera by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. The libretto was written by Béla Balázs, a poet and friend of the composer, and is written in Hungarian, based on the French literary tale La Barbe bleue by Charles Perrault. The opera lasts only a little over an hour and there are only two singing characters onstage: Bluebeard (Kékszakállú), and his new wife Judith (Judit); the two have just eloped and Judith is coming home to Bluebeard's castle for the first time.

Synopsis

The German narrator describes a trip by his family to the fictional seaside town of Torre di Venere, Italy (a fictional town based on the touristic city of Forte dei Marmi) in the 1920s. The stay becomes unpleasant, partly because he finds the Italian people had become too nationalistic.

The family attends a performance by a magician and hypnotist who goes by the name "Cavaliere Cipolla", who uses his mental powers in an abusive or fascist way to control his audience. The magician, whose body is somehow disfigured but who has a strong mind, represents the mesmerizing power of authoritarian leaders in Europe at the time — he is autocratic, misuses power, and is able to subjugate the crowd, counterbalancing his inferiority complex by artificially boosting his self-confidence.

Cipolla's assassination by Mario, a native of Torre di Venere who was the last one abused by the magician on stage, is not seen as a tragedy but as liberation by the author and the audience.

The German narrator describes a trip by his family to the fictional seaside town of Torre di Venere, Italy (a fictional town based on the touristic city of Forte dei Marmi) in the 1920s. The stay becomes unpleasant, partly because he finds the Italian people had become too nationalistic.

The family attends a performance by a magician and hypnotist who goes by the name "Cavaliere Cipolla", who uses his mental powers in an abusive or fascist way to control his audience. The magician, whose body is somehow disfigured but who has a strong mind, represents the mesmerizing power of authoritarian leaders in Europe at the time — he is autocratic, misuses power, and is able to subjugate the crowd, counterbalancing his inferiority complex by artificially boosting his self-confidence.

Cipolla's assassination by Mario, a native of Torre di Venere who was the last one abused by the magician on stage, is not seen as a tragedy but as liberation by the author and the audience.

Place: A huge, dark hall in a castle, with seven locked doors.
Time: Not defined.

Judith and Bluebeard arrive at his castle, which is all dark. Bluebeard asks Judith if she wants to stay and even offers her an opportunity to leave, but she decides to stay. Judith insists that all the doors be opened, to allow light to enter into the forbidding interior, insisting further that her demands are based on her love for Bluebeard. Bluebeard refuses, saying that there are private places not to be explored by others, and asking Judith to love him but ask no questions. Judith persists, and eventually prevails over his resistance.

The first door opens to reveal a torture chamber, stained with blood. Repelled, but then intrigued, Judith pushes on. Behind the second door is a storehouse of weapons, and behind the third a storehouse of riches. Bluebeard urges her on. Behind the fourth door is a secret garden of great beauty; behind the fifth, a window onto Bluebeard's vast kingdom. All is now sunlit, but blood has stained the riches, watered the garden, and grim clouds throw blood-red shadows over Bluebeard's kingdom.

Bluebeard pleads with her to stop: the castle is as bright as it can get, and will not get any brighter, but Judith refuses to be stopped after coming this far, and opens the penultimate sixth door, as a shadow passes over the castle. This is the first room that has not been somehow stained with blood; a silent silvery lake is all that lies within, "a lake of tears". Bluebeard begs Judith to simply love him, and ask no more questions. The last door must be shut forever. But she persists, asking him about his former wives, and then accusing him of having murdered them, suggesting that their blood was the blood everywhere, that their tears were those that filled the lake, and that their bodies lie behind the last door. At this, Bluebeard hands over the last key.

Behind the door are Bluebeard's three former wives, but still alive, dressed in crowns and jewellery. They emerge silently, and Bluebeard, overcome with emotion, prostrates himself before them and praises each in turn (as his wives of dawn, midday and dusk), finally turning to Judith and beginning to praise her as his fourth wife (of the night). She is horrified and begs him to stop, but it is too late. He dresses her in the jewellery they wear, which she finds exceedingly heavy. Her head drooping under the weight, she follows the other wives along a beam of moonlight through the seventh door. It closes behind her, and Bluebeard is left alone as all fades to total darkness.

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
Intervals: 1
Duration: 2h 30min
Sung in: Hungarian
Titles in: Hungarian,English
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