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Erkel Theatre of Hungarian State Opera

Erkel SzínházOpening ceremony – 3. October 2017
First round – 4-5. October 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

The theatre with the largest number of seats in Hungary and even in Central Europe, formerly named the Népopera (People’s Opera) was built in less than 9 months on a plot donated by Budapest in 1911. During the colourful history of the private enterprises that ran the business, they played operas, concerts, operettas, ballets, jazz concerts, dramatic plays, cabarets and musicals in it, but boxing matches, fashion shows and party congresses were also organised here, and it even operated as a cinema and entertainment venue. Initially it had 3400 seats but due to the stricter fire prevention regulations and a more comfortable seating arrangement, the capacity has since dwindled to 1849, but it still preserves its leading position and legendary acoustics, and with extra chairs it can be enlarged to comfortably fit 2000. The Városi (City) Theatre, which was named Erkel Theatre in 1951, has been operated by the Opera since 1949.

Reiner, Toscanini, Furtwängler, Fricsay, Gardelli, Ferencsik and Bernstein have conducted here and the greatest tenors, di Stéfano, Aragall, Carreras, Gedda, Pavarotti and Domingo have sung on its stage, as well as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson.

The theatre was closed down in 2007, but reopened in 2013 after a few months of refurbishment works. Ever since, it has been operating as an affordable theatre for Hungarian opera and ballet lovers, and this is the place where we nurture our future audiences. Folk dance and high-quality pop music productions appear here, too, as do opera and ballet productions from other companies. The almost 1,000,000 guests who have been registered since the reopening can now come to the theatre by underground too. During the reconstruction of the State Opera House, most of the productions in the 2017/18 “Around the Ring” season take place at the Erkel Theatre along with a great number of special events.