The Hungarian State Opera Announces First U.S Tour

By Francisco Salazar

The Hungarian State Opera has announced its first tour to the United States this fall.

During a press conference in New York, general director Szilvester Okovacs was joined by artistic director Ferenc Anger to present the company’s tour. Heralded as the biggest endeavor by the opera company, the tour will showcase 350 musicians, four important Hungarian operas, and three ballet productions.

During the press conference, Okovacs noted that it was the right moment to do the tour as the historic theater was currently in reconstruction and would not be ready until next year. The General director also announced that the company was building a third theater entitled the Eiffel Art Studios for Chamber Opera. The new theater would have rehearsal rooms, lounges, and a 400-seat theater for concerts and recitals. The new building, which was formally a train station, would be ready at the same time the Hungarian State Opera.

For the 2018 tour, the works that will be presented at the David Koch Theater, home of the New York City Ballet, were selected due to their significance in Hungarian culture. Before presenting the four operas Okovacs presented tenor Boldizsar Laszlo, one of the leading tenors in Hungary. Laszlo performed an aria from “Bank ban” which will make its U.S debut when the tour opens.


The tour opens with Ferenc Erkel’s “Bank ban,” which is a traditional season opener at the Hungarian State Opera. The work, which is composed by Hungary’s father of grand opera, will have its U.S premiere.

Performance Dates:  Oct. 30 & Nov. 3

Goldmark’s “The Queen of Sheba” will return to the New York stage for the first time since 1906 when the Metropolitan Opera last performed the work. While it had its New York premiere in 1885 and was a part of the repertoire more than one hundred years ago, the work fell out of practice.

Performance Dates: Oct. 31 & Nov. 2

The final operatic production will include a new intriguing double bill. Bartok’s ever-popular “Bluebeard’s Castle” will be showcased for its 100th anniversary alongside the 1988 Hungarian gem “Mario and the Magician,” which will also make its U.S premiere.

Performance Dates: Nov. 1 & 3

Tickets and casting and production details for opera will follow at a future announcement. The tour will take place between Oct. 30 and Nov. 11, 2018