At the end of September, the first Eva Marton international singing competition resulted in a resounding Hungarian success. Szilvia Vörös, a former student of Eva Marton, won the grand prize (results and winners can be read about in Hungarian here). The young singer gave not only beautiful interpretations of, among others, Mozart and Donizetti, but a very nice interview for the classial music channel (Bartók rádió) of the Hungarian Radio, describing her career and artistic development. Some earlier recordings with her can be found on YouTube here and here.
Her victory brought about wide-spread optimism concerning the operatic life in Budapest. Experts on the radio channel talked about a bright present and future of operatic life, which was supported by another interview given by Andrea Rost, one of the leading sopranos of these years.
Unfortunately, the program of the Budapest Opera House does not warrant such high optimism. Hungarian singers abound, but most of them do not usually come back to Budapest to grace the programmes. As a matter of fact, the highlight of the autumn season, in my opinion, is coming on the single evening of 27th October in the Erkel Theatre, when Edita Gruberova sings Lucia in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Fortunately, Atala Schöck is appearing in the role of Alisa, so this evening is going to provide an evening with more than the presence of a single star.
Though the season is already under way, a few more of the productions of Mascani’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallos’s Pagliacci are still ahead of those interested. The performances on 7th and 11th October will feature Gyöngyi Lukács and Andrea Rost, among other quality singers.
Besides these productions, some of the promising ones incluce Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, with Zita Váradi, or Ingrid Kertesi in the first half of October in the Erkel Theatre, Puccini’s Tosca on some days in October and on 2nd, 13th and 26th Novermber with Gyöngyi Lukács and Anatoly Fokanov in the Opera House.
This does not look as if Budapest in the role of the opera capital of Central Europe is realistic. Fortunately, the greats are returning here in the late winter and the spring season, of which it is my plan to provide more information. Hope to see you back as audience with an opinion, or a visitor to this site for the program of the second part of the season.