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The Nagyerdei Outdoor Stage Opened Seventy Years Ago

During the inauguration of what was then known as the Lenin Park facility, the tram service was suspended on Stalin Boulevard.

“Debrecen will be the venue of a national cultural competition today: the open-air stage in Lenin Park in the Great Forest will be handed over to the city’s workers in a ceremonial setting, starting at half past nine in the evening,”

Néplap June 10th 1950

According to an article published 70 years, Comrade Endre Balogh gave a speech during the handover, and then the soloists of the opera house sang some Russian and Hungarian opera excerpts. Afterwards, the Székely spinner performed.

Kodály on the Express Train

The soloists on the show: Mária Mátyás, Klára Palánkai, Sándor Király, Lajos Tóth had already arrived in Debrecen, and the previous day they had taken part rehearsals until late in the evening.

In addition to the presence of representatives of several ministries there were many representatives of the musical life, as well as Zoltán Kodály, the author of the Székely spinning mill, also came to our city. Famous artists came to Debrecen in the afternoon by high-speed train and were solemnly received at the station.

Méliusz Library Archive Pic
Source: Méliusz Library Archive

The Néplap article of June 10, 1950, also indicated that there was a huge, unprecedented interest in performances and was an unforgettable experience. On both evenings, the Székely spinner performed in front of a crowded auditorium, and the audience included a large number of working-class people, tractor drivers, and those who were usually excluded from all cultural opportunities by the ruling regime of the time.

One-forint standing tickets

The tickets were sold by Ibusz, and due to the great interest, it was also possible to buy 1 forint standing tickets for the first night. There was also talk of the Székely spinning being repeated on Monday evenings. As reported, the Sunday paper provided information and was informed: “also through all the announcers in the city”.

During the performance on Stalin Boulevard from half-past nine in the evening approximately, the traffic was suspended up until 11 p.m., but after that, a sufficient number of trams were available to the public in front of the tram stop at Central University.

The article also covered that the new facility could be approached from this tram stop or from Vigado in Lenin Park on boardwalks. Readers could also find out from the announcement that Gusztáv Oláh, the chief director of the opera house, had arrived for the rehearsals on Friday afternoon. He gave some advice to the Csenki Choir and the MÁV Philharmonic Orchestra.

According to Néplap, Comrade János Ménes, the former mayor of Debrecen, was to appear at the lecture on Sunday evening. At the time he was heading the Interior Ministry’s “Presidential Affairs Department and played a major role in the creation of the Outdoor Stage.

The outdoor stage had a new look from 2014. renovated for the summer after a long period of neglect. Since then the facility has enjoyed unbroken popularity among all ages. Under the old trees, guests were also entertained by folk art shows, theater performances, rock and jazz concerts, and children’s programs in a picturesque setting.

Source: Haon.hu