Budapest cityscape, Hungary

2014 is most successful year in history for Budapest Opera

This also includes a record number of performances and ticket sales revenue, which is the highest for 25 years. More than 550,000 people paid for a ticket at the Hungarian State Opera in the past year, including those on deluxe river cruises in Europe, which was a fantastic achievement for the institution. Also, over one million people will have seen or listened to a play, gala or film produced by the organisation via public media broadcasts.

Best performing year in modern history

It is thought that the Hungarian State Opera’s success has been helped by the reopening of the Erkel Theatre in Budapest, which the institution also manages. Being the largest cultural theatre in Hungary, it’s no surprise that the venue has outperformed the year 2001 several times this year, despite having less budget for productions than in 2001. The institution does receive state support, with 1.1 billion forints granted to the reopened theatre in 2014.

The success of the Erkel Theatre proves that there is still a high demand for ‘high’ culture, but for modest genres that are not elite such as the opera and ballet. It has been stressed by the Hungarian State Opera’s director that the aim of the institute is to provide the Hungarian society and those visiting the country access to both contemporary theatre and classic pieces.

One of the highlights of the Hungarian State Opera’s calendar of events in 2104, was the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss’ birth, which included a festival taking place in May and June. This included six stage productions of the famous composer’s operas, such as the Woman without a Shadow, and the Knight of the Rose. The Opera House’s Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra closed the festival with a concert, which was conducted by Pinchas Steinberg.