‘Sardanapalo’ to Make Hungarian Premiere

By Francisco Salazar

Liszt’s unfinished one-act opera “Sardanapalo” is set to have its Hungarian premiere on Oct. 22, 2023.

The performance will take place at the LisztFest and will star Joyce El Khoury in the role of Mirra alongside tenor Airam Hernandez in the title role of Sardanapalo and Bass-baritone Olecsandr Pushniak as Beleso. Kirill Karabits conducts the Staatskapelle Weimar and the Hungarian National Choir.

This performance will include a new score for this performance (corrected, revised), and images of magnificent Assyrian stone reliefs will be projected in the background, as a kind of scenery. The opera is set at the end of the Assyrian Empire, and these stone reliefs were being transported to Paris and London at exactly the time Liszt composed the music c. 1849-52.

The opera was first recorded in 2019 and was regarded as one of the best recordings of the year.