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Culture & Art

Hungarian Opera House performs in Israel for the first time

Hungary’s cultural institution made its artistic debut with a special performance of The Queen of Sheba. Directed by Csaba Káel, the grandiose production featured two hundred opera singers, actors, musicians, and technicians.

“We created this piece to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of its writer and creator, Károly Goldmark. We’re grateful that we had opportunities to perform in New York’s most prestigious concert hall, Lincoln Center, and now, at the Israeli Opera Tel-Aviv,” said Káel. “I’m not surprised that the opera was received so well. After all, this is where it originates from, the birthplace of the story,” added the director. 

Following its 2014 launch at Margaret Island, Budapest, the opera ran at Budapest’s Erkel Theatre before a special performance in New York. The Israeli Opera house marks the next big step for the production, evincing its unparalleled popularity among both Hungarian and international audiences. It is of course noteworthy that Goldmark himself was both a Hungarian and a Jew. 

Erika Gál, Boldizsár László, and Eszter Sümegi played the main roles, while Károly Szemerédy, András Palerdi, Katalin Töreky, Ferenc Cserhalmi, and Róbert Rezsnyák also featured in the production. Balázs Kocsár conducted.

The opera featured a lighting installation designed specifically for the production, and the exquisite costumes and stage design have not gone unnoticed by reviewers. New York Magazine praised its beautifully detailed and exceptionally constructed sets, placing the opera on its list of Top 10 Classical Music Productions of the Year.

The Queen of Sheba was financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the 2019 program series for the Hungarian Cultural Season in Israel, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Hungary and Israel.

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