Photo Credit: Hungarian National Ballet, Nagy Attila
In view of the great interest, on December 21, 2022, the Hungarian National Ballet has scheduled an additional performance of The Nutcracker, making Tchaikovsky’s fairytale ballet more than ever, a total of 35 times, on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2022 and Between January 15, 2023, at the Hungarian State Opera House.While OPERA’s traditional holiday productions attract full houses again this year, the Andrássy theater intends to pay attention to the needy with several charity events in cooperation with its partners.
Organized by the István Regőczi Foundation, which supports the orphans of the Covid-19 epidemic, almost 200 children will attend the Nutcracker rehearsal on November 27, while on December 18, Golden Sunday, the International Children’s Rescue Service will bring almost a thousand disadvantaged children from all over the country and the from beyond borders. This performance is one of the dearest Christmas gifts of the Children’s Rescue and MKB Bank, which sponsors the event, as Tchaikovsky’s Christmas ballet is an essential part of the holiday preparations.
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The new Nutcracker performance, announced for the morning of December 21st, is also serves charitable purposes
With the performance, each year the two organizations try to make Christmas more beautiful, richer, and a real experience for children. The new performance announced for the morning of December 21st also partly serves charitable purposes, the booths of which can be occupied by children living in child protection institutions, raised by foster parents and their companions, organized by the Ministry of the Interior’s State Secretariat for Care Policy.
On December 7th, 8th and 9th, the Little Bohemian Christmas will once again move into the attic of the protagonists of Bohémélet, in which the OPERA Children’s Choir, András Kőrősi, Orsolya Hajnalka Rőser, Zsófia Nagy and Máté Fülep, private singers, Lili Felméry and Taran Dumitru ballet- and orchestra artists Eszter Stankowszky (concertmaster), Alajos H. Zováthi (double bass), Dóra Gjorgjevic (flute), Péter Csongár (clarinet), Ferenc Ács (trumpet) will present a Christmas performance woven from opera and ballet tales under the direction of László Bartal for disadvantaged children directed by András Aczél.
In addition, OPERA is also joining the MTVA’s charity campaign “It’s good to be good”, which this year supports the Hungarian National Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and true to the traditions of the past years, it is offering not only the Nutcracker doll played in last season’s performances as a donation, but the public media December 18 also participates in its program stream.
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This year, Hungary’s only classical ballet company is the only one to present Tchaikovsky’s work live in its entirety
After 2016, the Nutcracker choreography by Wayne Eagling and Tamás Solymosi returns to the stage of the Opera House in its original form. The production, which was renovated in 2015 with the costumes of Nóra Rományi, has been shown in the Erkel Theater since 2017 due to the renovation of the song theater on Andrássy út due to minor compromises. Now, by leaving them out, the performance can be seen again in its original splendor on a bigger stage, with more dancers, with Beáta Vavrinecz’s sets, and with the restoration of the omitted smaller scenes.
This year, Hungary’s only classical ballet company is the only one to present Tchaikovsky’s work live in its entirety, the unprecedented success of which is demonstrated by the fact that almost all tickets for the performances are sold out before the start of the series, and there are only a limited number of seats available for the January dates.
Principal Maria Beck will make her debut in the company and as Princess Mária in the performance on December 10. Until recently, the American-Russian ballet artist held the same position in the ensemble of the Stanislavskyi Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Musical Theater. Maria Yakovleva, the former principal soloist of the ballet company of the Vienna State Opera, who signed a contract with the Hungarian National Ballet this autumn, will also dance the female lead role at the Opera House for the first time. In addition to the ballet masters, leading soloists such as Balaban Cristina, Gergely Leblanc and Aliya Tanykpayeva helped the group learn.
This year, the students of the Hungarian National Ballet Institute will be participating in the children’s roles of the performance, including Éva Julianna Pollák, who won first place in her pre-competitive category in the Paris semi-finals of the Youth America Grand Prix this fall, and Franciska Yuki Bonecz, who won first place at the Dutch Junior Ballet Competition, will be seen in the role of Marika. In view of the great interest, OPERA has announced another performance on December 21, 2022 from 11:00 a.m., which will go on sale on November 27 at 10:00 a.m.
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Puccini’s opera Bohémélet is also an essential part of the Christmas period
The performance, which deals with the daily lives of Parisian bohemians full of love and deprivation, has been seen for 85 years now, staged by the legendary creators of the Golden Age of the Opera House. Kálmán Nádasdy’s direction with sets by Gusztáv Oláh and costumes by Márk Tivadar will be shown at eight sold-out performances between December 3 and 30 this year. The main roles are played by László Boldizsár and Gergely Boncsér (Rodolfo), Polina Pasztircsák and Gabriella Létay Kiss (Mimì), Csaba Sándor and Azat Malik (Schaunard), Csaba Szegedi and Csaba Sándor (Marcello), Gábor Bretz and Marcell Bakonyi (Colline), and Orsolya Sáfár (Musetta) sings, the OPERA Orchestra, Choir (conductor: Gábor Csiki) and Children’s Choir (conductor: Nikolett Hajzer) are conducted by Gergely Kesselyák, OPERA’s first conductor.
Since 2019, the Mozart version of Handel’s oratorio Messiah has become a permanent part of the Advent season. On December 17th and 18th, the Opera House will perform the choral work, which deals with the coming of the savior, the story of his suffering and resurrection, and is well-known through the Hallelujah movement, in a concert-like format, in Hungarian. The soloist roles are sung by Rita Rácz, Gabriella Balga, István Horváth and Marcell Bakonyi, and the OPERA Orchestra and Choir are conducted by Gergely Kesselyák.
A two-and-a-half-meter nutcracker and a three-and-a-half-meter high Christmas tree also contribute to creating a festive atmosphere in the Opera House building, with more than 200 decorations provided by OPERA’s strategic partner, Herendi Porcelánmanufaktúra Zrt.
As part of the MVM OperaKaland, OPERA makes the main rehearsals of both The Nutcracker and Bohémélet available to high school classes as well, in line with the institution’s commitment to promote and popularize song theater genres among the next generation, the opera-goers of the future.