Budapest Summer Festival

Giuseppe Verdi: Otello – opera performance in Italian

2016 archive
Sunday, 31 July 2016 20:00

Show info

Giuseppe Verdi:


open-air opera show

Friday and Sunday, the 29th and 31st of July, 8pm

Margaret Island Open-air Stage

in the original Italian with Hungarian subtitles

The Open-Air Theatre brings Verdi’s most magnificent creation, Otello, an opera based on Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello, to the open-air stage with world famous soprano Andrea Rost and American tenor Marc Heller playing the leading roles.

When two geniuses meet, the result is certain to be a masterpiece. The tragedy of the Venetian Moorish general, Otello, focuses on jealousy and devotion. Through the story of Otello and Desdemona, one of the most famous couples of all time, the opera tells a dramatic tale about personal and political competition, betrayal and envy. Otello, one of Verdi’s last pieces, embodies a magical union of drama and music. It represents such intensity and sharp-sightedness that even the shorter vocal forms in the opera are capable of conveying dramatic meaning.

After a highly successful run, the Hungarian State Opera House’s production will have its open-air premiere as well as its final staging at the Margaret Island Open-air Stage.The open-air premiere is particularly special because in the role of Desdemona the audience may enjoy world-famous soprano Andrea Rost, while the title role will be performed by Marc Heller, who after charming audiences in Belfast, Barcelona and Salt Lake City, will step on stage for the first time in Budapest.

Verdi’s enchanting music will be conducted by the critically acclaimed young conductor Gergely Madaras, who will lead the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.
Presented by the Szabad Tér Theatre together with the Hungarian State Opera House.


Marc Heller
Andrea Rost
Mihály Kálmándy
Judit Németh
Zoltán Nyári
Péter Kiss
Sándor Egri
Ferenc Cserhalmi
Géza Zsigmond

Featuring the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.

Stage Director
Set designer
Costume designer
Chorus Master


Giuseppe Verdi
Arrigo Boito
Ágnes Romhányi
Sándor Palcsó
Attila Csikós
Nelly Vágó
Andrea Kováts
Kálmán Strausz

Gergely Madaras
László Vámos

Andrea Rost

The audience have been able to follow the world-famous soprano's career since 1989. She studied with Zsolt Bende at Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest. She was still a student and a scholarship-holder of the Budapest Opera House when she sang Juliet's role in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet in Dénes Gulyás's direction. Two years later she became a soloist with the Vienna Staatsoper where she sang many important roles. She had a great international success at the 1994 premiere of Rigoletto at La Scala, Milan where she was invited by Riccardo Muti. She has appeared in a number of productions at the Salzburg Festival. She sang the roles of Susanna, Gilda and Lucia as well as Antonia in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann in the Bastille Opera, Paris. She made her debut at Covent Garden, London in the role of Susanna, and later sang the role of Violetta. Her latest performance there was the title role of Donnizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at its premiere. She made her debut in the Metropolitan Opera, New York in 1996 in the role of Adina (L'elisir d'amore), and later sang Gilda, Lucia and Violetta too. Andrea Rost has arrived in Budapest from Munich where she sang Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. She will sing the role of the Countess in La nozze di Figaro in Brussels in June 2009. It is twenty years since Andrea Rost last sang at a premiere at the Opera House.

Andrea Rost@Photo: Tamás Dobos

Marc Heller


With this season marking his Gran Teatre del Liceu debut as Otello, American tenor Marc Heller has performed principal tenor roles at the Metropolitan Opera, de Nederlandse Opera, Theater Capitôle du Toulouse, Royal Swedish Opera of Stockholm, the Badisches Staats Theater, Opera du Metz, Opera Oviedo, New York City Opera, the Hessisches Staats Theater, Opera Malmö, the Komische Oper Berlin, the International Music Festival of Macau, and many others worldwide.

Mr. Heller made his Metropolitan Opera debut opposite Placido Domingo in the new opera by Oscar and Grammy-winning composer Tan Dun, The First Emperor, portraying the role of the opera’s antagonist Gao JianLi, which he originated in workshop of the opera in Shanghai, China, co-produced by the Metropolitan and Los Angeles Operas. Mr. Heller returned to the Met the following season, appearing as Tybalt in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette opposite Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna, simulcast worldwide on Sirius, and in the Met’s HD Movie Simulcast, and replayed internationally on television. In past seasons, Mr. Heller performed the role of Radames in Aida at the Pyramids at Giza, simulcast on R.A.I. Italian television, and in 2012 at Royal Albert Hall in a new production which was simulcast on SKY Television Last season, Heller had a resounding international success portraying the eponymous heldentenor “Sigurd” in the German premiere of Ernst Reyer’s opera; a performance which garnered international critical acclaim, including in such publications as Opern Glas, referring to Heller’s vocal performance as “downright spectacular“. Heller also debuted as Andrea Chenier, reviewed as "dunkel getönter Tenor ist kraftvoll und makellos” and made his successful debut as Max in Der Freischuetz Following a featured article in October’s edition of Opern Glas, and fresh on the heels of a major success as Jean de Leyde in the Badisches Staats Theater’s new production by Tobias Kratzer of Meyerbeer’s masterpiece Le Prophète in which he was reviewed, among others, in Opern Netz as a “heldentenor with lyrical dexterity and convincing nuances”, Mr. Heller in coming seasons, reprises the roles of Otello, Calaf in Turandot, Radames in Aida, and Canio in I Pagliacci. Mr. Heller will also make debuts in several new productions internationally in roles Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana, and as Siegmund in his first major foray into Wagner in Die Walküre. As a recording artist, Mr. Heller appeared as Chairman Mao in the Naxos recording of Adams’ Nixon in China, production of which album was nominated for a Grammy award. He also has several solo, and principal soloist albums on the Etcetera label, including Great Poets in Song, poems of James Joyce, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost, musicalized by and performed with his father Dr. Alfred Heller.

Gergely Madaras

Fast gaining an international reputation as one of the most exciting European conductors of his generation, in 2013 Gergely Madaras was appointed Music Director of the Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne. From September 2014 he also took up the post of Chief Conductor of the Savaria Symphony Orchestra in Hungary. Notable engagements of the previous season included concerts with the Academy of Ancient Music, Janáček Philharmonic and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, plus his North American debut with the Houston Symphony. The 2014/15 season also saw Gergely Madaras make his Australasian debut conducting the Melbourne Symphony, Queensland Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia orchestras. Gergely Madaras is also establishing a fine reputation as an opera conductor: in 2012 he was appointed as the inaugural recipient of the Charles Mackerras Fellowship at the English National Opera. During this two year appointment he worked on productions of The Barber of Seville, Benvenuto Cellini, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Rigoletto and Wozzeck, and in Autumn 2013 was invited by ENO to conduct Simon McBurney's new production of Magic Flute in London. He reprised this production for his debut at De Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam in Spring 2015. Other opera engagements have included Peer Gynt in Dijon, Bluebeard's Castlein concert at the 30th International Bartok Festival, semi-staged performances of La traviata and Lucia di Lammermoor in Szombathely andMagic Flute with Hungarian State Opera in Budapest. In Budapest he conducted La nozze di Figaro and Otello too.

Mihály Kálmándy

He started to take piano lessons at age six, but established a connection with classical guitar and other instruments as well. He received his degree at the Opera Faculty of the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca with the title role of Verdi’s Nabucco – a role that has been accompanying him ever since. It was again the Nabucco with which he began his international career at the Teatro Verdi in Trieste, a performance that brought along many high-brow invitations. Mihály Kálmándy has performed in Rome, Naples, Vienna, Stockholm, London, and Warsaw, as well as Seoul and New Zealand; and in the meantime he's sung the largest baritone roles at the Hungarian State Opera House. He's worked with exceptional conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Pier Giorgio Morandi, Kent Nagano and Pinchas Steinberg. The list of his stage partners includes Éva Marton, Edita Gruberovát, Ildikó Komlósi, Erika Miklósa, Placido Domingo, and José Cura. In the spring of 2015 he became a member of the Company of Immortals.


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2016/07/31 20:00 | Margaret Island Buy tickets for this event

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