Dear Operetta lovers, we wish you a happy New Year, and welcome you to the 2015/2016 season of the Budapest Operetta Theatre. We chose to name this year the Year of Twin Stars, as it showcases the very best of our two featured genres: musical and operetta.
This year, we offer three brand new premiers on our main stage, two remakes of popular classics, and a whole lot of supremely entertaining repertoire pieces. And of course, all of this is accessible to international audiences, as all the performances on our main stage are subtitled. Musicals are subtitled in English, operetta performances are subtitled in German, except for Sybill, Palkó Csínom and The Duchess of Chicago, which are in also in English.
The highlights of our season when it comes to operetta are two beloved classics we dusted off: Die Fledermaus by Strauss and Mike the Magnate by Albert Szirmai. These two works became timeless audience favourites for the same reason: they talk about social tensions with sharp, clever humour, but they are also whirlwind comedies with misunderstandings and disguises and quite a lot of romance. They tell us that for one evening of drinks, dances and lies, a stable boy can become a magnate, a housewife can become a seductive countess, and even those who made a fool of themselves become wiser men by the time morning comes. We also recommend Emmerich Kálmán's Die Csárdásfürstin, an iconic operetta which celebrated its 100th birthday also in this year, Wedding Dance, a unique klezmer-operetta about the interaction of Jewish, Hungarian and Romanian people in a small village, and many other gems of the operetta genre.
Our selection of musicals is no less widespread: we are proud to present international hits such as Mozart! by the renowned creative team that is Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze, Gérard Presgurvic's passionate adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, the world-wide known Fame musical and Alan Menken's unforgettable Beauty and the Beast. At the same time, we produce the best of Hungarian-made Hungarian-themed musicals, which provide an excellent window into the lives and mentalities of Hungarians: like the Second World War drama Abigail or the jukebox musical Lovely Summer Days.
We bid farewell to the year 2015 with the truly exciting premier of Sybill, a Victor Jacobi operetta. The titular Sybill is a singer on visit to pre-revolution Russia, where she ends up accidentally impersonating a duchess and being caught up in a complex game of blackmail and seduction. Parallel with the heroine's story, a number of more comical characters have their own struggles: a neurotic manager bickers with his wife, an outwardly strict but secretly hopelessly romantic governor is looking for his lost love, and a hotel owner observes the chaos around him with resigned desperation. Máté Szabó's inspired direction emphasised the conflicts still relevant to today's audience, such as the one between man and woman, or between career and love, but he also maintains the original operetta's sweeping snowy charm. The beautiful music of Jacobi, the stunning set by Balázs Cziegler and the wonderful costumes by Ildi Tihanyi make Sybill a true spectacle of an evening.
Our next premier will arrive on the 4th of March, when we will have the honour to perform Marie Antoinette, the latest musical of the world-renowned Sylvester Levay and Michael Kuncze. This enthralling musical presents the events of the French revolution through the story of two women: the titular unhappy queen and Margrid Arnaud, a pauper-turned-revolutionary. They live in different worlds, but due to the schemes of the Duke of Orléans, their paths cross again and again, changing both of them in the process, until Marie Antoinette has to face her execution, and Margrid is elevated into a hero of the people. This new approach brings an old story especially close to a contemporary audience, especially since it discusses the power of the press, the destructive might of gossip and slander. The expert direction of KERO, the brilliant choreography of Jenő Lőcsei, Csörsz Khell's imaginative sets reminiscent of the gardens of Versailles and AnniFüzér's charmingly authentic costumes ensure that our theatre is looking forward to yet another hit musical by Kuncze and Levay.
Last but not least our April premier, The Duchess of Chicago. This unique creation is one of the less-known works of the incredible EmmerichKálmán, and it belongs toa remarkably unique genre: jazz-operetta. The story is about the clash of two characters, two worlds, and two musical traditions. The young American millionaire Mary Lloyd wishes to dance the Charleston with the Eastern-European Prince of Sylvaria, Boris Sándor, however he refuses to dance anything but the waltz and the czardas. The story would be over and the two protagonists would never meet again if Mary hadn't made a bet with her wealthy gal pals to buy the most outrageous thing on their European trip. And when she takes a fancy to the royal castle of Sylvaria, the country is in such dire financial straits that it doesn't say no. The two young people end up under the same roof again, but despite their attraction they cannot agree about anything, and their lives are further complicated by a hysterical queen mother, a step-dancing secretary, a childish princess and their own pride. Attila Lőrinczy'sadaptation of this operetta touches on serious themes such as the conflict between national identity and globalisation, and it is also irresistibly funny. Under the musical directorship of TamásBolba, you can expect a wonderful evening filled with frantic foxtrots and soulful waltz.
We hope to see you soon at the Budapest Operetta Theatre. You may purchase tickets [here] and you may direct any other inquiries email@example.com