“Singin’ in the Rain” – Szeged

Singin’ in the Rain” is an endearing Hollywood classic which started life as a movie in 1952. Now in Szeged, directed by Gyula Harangozó, complete with stunning choreography and special effects, the musical is sure to enchant the audience as it takes to the epic stage of Dóm tér.

This romantic comedy has been delighting audiences since it first appeared and its subject matter “focusing on the 1920s movie industry in America” creates that feel-good factor. In much the same vein as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, nothing bad can happen to you when you watch “Singin’ in the Rain”.

The movie translated so effortlessly to stages in both the West End and Broadway, before being revived and snapped up by touring companies.


“Stars of the Opera” – Margitsziget

Péter Halász conducts the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra and this fabulous world première which features outstanding American soprano Ailyn Pérez, Italian baritone Gabriele Viviani and Albanian tenor Ramé Lahaj.

Focusing on the duets and trios of Verdi, Puccini and Mozart, it is sure to create an electric atmosphere in the setting of Margitsziget. Classic themes of passion, jealousy and heartbreak dominate and it is an unmissable opportunity to see such a prestigious international trio of performers.

Pérez has performed on the stages of La Scala, The Metropolitan Opera and Berlin Staatsoper, and this lyric soprano has a rich voice like molten honey, deceptive in its elastic power.

Her repertoire is expansive and she is in great demand in all the major opera houses worldwide.

“Béjart Ballet Lausanne: Ballet for Life” – Margitsziget

Twenty years have passed since Maurice Béjart’s “Ballet for Life” premièred but the sensational montage he left behind is still every bit as dazzling and exciting today.

The music blends Mozart and Queen, as well as celebrating the innovative costume designs of Gianni Versace. It is a mix which at first sounds completely incongruous. Until it is experienced that is; the classical music jostles with rock hits and wonderful choreography, enhanced to great effect by Versace costumes.

Béjart was one of the company’s most talented choreographers and his choice of celebrating artists who all died young is interesting. Above all, “Ballet for Life” is energising, uplifting and dramatic, cutting thrilling shapes across the stage.

“Il Trovatore” – Margitsziget

'Il Trovatore' is a wild frenzy of an opera that unfolds with spiralling intensity as Verdi's musical score and the fierce emotions of the characters grow ever darker and more dramatic.

Directed by László Vámos, “Il Trovatore” is the Sicily of operas; the shadows are blacker but the fire burns brighter, with unrestrained ferocity. It may be Verdi's darkest opera, probably topping both “Macbeth” and “Don Carlo”, but herein lies its magnetic appeal.

The lyrics are savage and dangerous, speaking of years of pain and torment. The emotions of vehement anger, fierce rivalry, passionate love and bloodthirsty revenge are brutal yet compelling. Azucena, the vengeful gypsy, is the catalyst who drives the entire opera.

Verdi once claimed that if he could perform any female character, his choice would be Azucena. For raw power and passion alone, this dramatic mezzo-soprano role demands the ultimate from its performer.

Hungarian mezzo queen of the world stage Ildikó Komlósi stars as Azucena with guest Azerbaijani soprano Dinara Alieva as the self-sacrificing Leonora.

Manrico is performed by Italian tenor Riccardo Massi and the Count di Luna by Mihály Kálmándy, but it is definitely the female roles of Leonora and Azucena who provide the backbone to “Il Trovatore”.

Worlds apart both in personality and vocal range, they represent the extremes of human nature, and what is a tragic opera if there are no extremes?

This performance over two nights on Margitsziget is a collaborative effort between Open Air Theatre and the Hungarian State Opera. As the voices in the first act rise through the gathering dusk of the Open Air stage, in “Di geloso amor sprezzato” or “The fire of jealous love”, emotions ignite like the pyres where the unfortunate characters are burned.

Stride la vampa!


Budapest Summer Festival

Until 27 August


For Margitsziget tickets and information: www.eng.szabadter.hu

Festival Ticket office:

District VI
Nagymező utca 68.

Szeged Open Air Festival

Until 20 August

Dóm tér

For Szeged tickets and information: www.szegediszabadteri.hu/en

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