There are several Opera or Operetta performances at the Csokonai Theater that might be of interest in the upcoming months.
The Csárdás Queen is considered Imre Kálmán’s greatest work, the songs from which were among Adolf Hitler’s favorites, and for a long while, Imre was his favorite composer even though he was Jewish. In Hungarian, this operetta is known as “Csárdáskirálynő” and is well-known, while globally it is considered the most popular and most played operetta of all time.
According to operetta statistics, there is not a single minute when one of the popular melodies of Imre Kálmán is not played at any place on the Earth – in theater, concert, movie, TV or radio. In the English language, the Operetta was renamed as Csárdás Princess, The Riviera Girl, or The Gipsy Princess.
In Vienna, at its premiere site in 1915, it was played for 533 nights and then swept across Europe: it was immediately shown in Sweden, Finland, Poland, Russia, Italy, and Budapest in November 1916, and finally reached the New Year one year later on Broadway in York.
A rare exception is that it would be a great play even without music, as a very exciting family drama unfolds in front of the audience during the events. Of course, in the end, as required by the laws of operettas, everything goes well.
They say the operetta is traditionally a Hungarian genre and rightly so. Operettas are never performed anywhere in the world with the thrill, temperament, playfulness, humor, and lyricism of what the Hungarian language allows. This makes it difficult to stage. A lot of expectations have to be met by the theater that chooses to present an operetta. This is especially true in the case of Queen Csárdás.
Giacomo Puccini Opera: Tosca
Tosca is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, made famous for its depictions of torture, murder, and suicide and because none of the main characters survive the story. It is also famous because the plot takes place in a single day: three dead in 24 hours – including a police officer (Baron Scarpia – Chief of Police) in Rome who abuses his power and, by doing so, is the master of life and death. But Scarpia’s sexual desire transcends a certain point, he loses control and becomes the same as those he has judged.
In addition, Tosca is a psycho-crime. A thriller. Quite precisely: a musical erotic thriller. What Hitchcock was on the screen at that time was what Puccini was on the opera stage. The composer created a subtly crafted and passionate crime scene about mechanisms such as the presence of power in the church, politics, and in sexuality.
Few operas are as closely and openly interwoven with personal passion as Puccini’s captivating piece about love, honor, betrayal, power, and jealousy.
Director: Gábor Sylvie