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Tickets Priced From $10.00 to $119.00 on Sale Beginning April 16

Operas from October 30-November 3:
Ferenc Erkel’s Bánk Bán; Karl Goldmark’s The Queen of Sheba;
János Vajda’s
Mario and the Magician, and Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle

Gala performance on November 4

Ballets from November 5-11:
 Swan Lake (Rudi van Dantzig), Don Quixote (Michael Messerer), and a Program of Classic Modern Works by Hans van Manen

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (April 13, 2018) — The Hungarian State Opera and Hungarian National Ballet, which will make their U.S. debuts October 30-November 11, announces that tickets are on sale beginning April 16, casting for its four operas and three ballets, and gala performance program.

Tickets, priced from $10 to $119, are available beginning Monday, April 16 from the David H. Koch Theater, at, by calling 212-496-0600, or by visiting the box office in the lobby of the theater at 20 Lincoln Center. Early ticket buyers will receive a 30% discount through May 16, 2018.

More than 300 singers, dancers, and musicians (casting below), many of whom will make their U.S. debuts, will travel to New York to perform in programs featuring a series of U.S. premieres and new productions. The first week of the engagement, from October 30 to November 3, features the Hungarian State Opera in U.S. premiere performances of Ferenc Erkel’s Bánk Bán and János Vajda’s Mario and the Magician, the latter paired with Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle (premiered by the Hungarian State Opera 100 years ago in 1918); as well as Karl Goldmark’s rarely seen The Queen of Sheba. The second week, from November 5 to 11, features two full length ballets including the U.S. premieres of new productions of Swan Lake and Don Quixote, plus a third program of contemporary dance classics by Hans van Manen.

The Hungarian State Opera and Hungarian National Ballet will host a gala on Sunday, November 4, featuring a collection of music by Hungarian composers Béla Bartók, Ernő Dohnányi, Ferenc Erkel, Zoltán Kodály, Franz Liszt, and Leó Weiner; and dances including Hans van Manen’s Trois Gnossiennes, Marius Petipa’s pas de deux Le Corsaire, and András Lukács’s Whirling with music by Philip Glass.



U.S. Debut Performances
October 30 – November 11, 2018
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

FERENC ERKEL: Bánk bán (U.S. premiere)

Tuesday, October 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 at 8:00 p.m.

Director:   Attila Vidnyánszky
Conductor:    Balázs Kocsár, principal music director

King Endre the Second:    Marcell Bakonyi
Gertrúd:    Judit Németh
Ottó:     István Horváth
Bánk bán:    Levente Molnár
Melinda:    Zita Szemere
Tiborc:    István Rácz
Petúr:    Zsolt Haja
Biberach:    Antal Cseh
Master Sólom:    Gergely Irlanda

Centering on the character of Bánk, a medieval court official who becomes involved in a conspiracy against the king’s German-born wife, Ferenc Erkel’s Bánk bán (1861) reflects Hungarian resistance to foreign rule. Bánk bán features a libretto by Béni Egressy based on Hungarian poet and playwright József Katona’s 1819 historical tragedy of the same title, one of the most important works in Hungarian literature. Considered Hungary’s national opera, Bánk bán is the traditional season-opener of the Hungarian State Opera. The composer, who also wrote Hungary’s national anthem and is considered the father of Hungarian grand opera, helped found the Hungarian State Opera in 1884, serving as its first music director.

Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes (excluding one intermission)


KARL GOLDMARK:  The Queen of Sheba
Wednesday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Director:    Csaba Káel
Conductor:    János Kovács

King Solomon:    Zoltán Kelemen
High Priest:    Péter Fried
Sulamit:    Eszter Sümegi
Assad:    Boldizsár László
Baal:    Lajos Geiger
The Queen of Sheba:    Erika Gál
Astaroth:    Eszter Zavaros
Temple Watchman:    Ferenc Cserhalmi

The Queen of Sheba, a biblically-themed love triangle between a temperamental queen, a young Jerusalem diplomat, and the daughter of the high priest, is the first opera by Hungarian-born composer Karl Goldmark, who spent most of his life in Vienna. Following the success of the opera’s 1875 premiere, it was performed at the Vienna Opera nearly every year until 1938. The Queen of Sheba had its U.S. premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on December 2, 1885 and was last performed there on January 27, 1906. It has not been fully staged in New York since.

Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes (excluding one intermission).


JÁNOS VAJDA: Mario and the Magician (U.S. premiere)
BÉLA BARTÓK: Bluebeard’s Castle

Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 at 1:00 p.m.

Director:    Péter Galambos
Conductor:    Balázs Kocsár, principal music director

Mario and the Magician
Cipolla:    András Palerdi
Mario:    Balázs Csémy
Signora Angiolieri:    Orsolya Hajnalka Rőser
Signor Angiolieri:    Antal Cseh
The woollen-shirted one:    Illés Rácz
Zoltán Bátki Fazekas:    Lajos Geiger

Bluebeard’s Castle
Bluebeard:    András Palerdi
Judit:    Ildikó Komlósi

The Hungarian State Opera gave the world premiere of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle on May 24, 1918 and has since staged more than 500 performances. János Vajda’s Mario and the Magician, premiered by the company in 1988, is one of Hungary’s most successful contemporary operas. The libretto is based on Thomas Mann’s 1929 anti-fascist novella Mario und der Zauberer, which criticizes Italian nationalism and tells the story of a manipulative hypnotist.

Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes (excluding one intermission).


Sunday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m

Conductor:    Gergely Kesselyák

Program to include:
Ferenc Erkel:    National anthem
Franz Liszt:    Les Preludes
Ferenc Erkel:    László Hunyadi: La Grange’s aria sung by Orsolya Hajnalka Rőser
Ferenc Erkel:    László Hunyadi:  Act I Finale sung by Péter Balczó
Ferenc Erkel:    Bánk bán: Bánk’s aria sung by Boldizsár László
Ferenc Erkel:    Bánk bán: Petur’s aria sung by Zoltán Kelemen
Le corsair:    Pas de deux; choreography by Mario Petipa, staging by Anna-Marie Holmes, music by Adolphe Adam
Franz Liszt:    Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major with Gergely Bogány
Whirling:    András Lukács, choreographer, music by Philip Glass
Leó Weiner:    Fox dance
Béla Bartók:    Evening in Transylvania
Ernő Dohnányi:    Symphonic minutes: Capriccio and Rondo
Trois Gnossiennes:    Choreography by Hans van Manen
Zoltán Kodály:    János Háry:  Örzse’s song sung by Erika Gál
Zoltán Kodály:    János Háry: Intermezzo
Zoltán Kodály:    The Spinning Room: Under the Mountains of Csitár sung by Zita SzemerePéter Balczó
Zoltán Kodály:    The Spinning Room: Finale sung by Zita Szemere, Erika Gál, Péter BalczóBoldizsár László, Zoltán Kelemen


RUDI VAN DANTZIG: Swan Lake (U.S. production premiere)
Tuesday, November 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m
Thursday, November 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Choreography after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov by Rudi van Dantzig
Choreography of folk dances by Toer van Schayk
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Conductor:    János Kovács

Odette / Odile:    Tatiana Melnik
Siegfried:    Dmitry Timofeev / Gergő Ármin Balázsi
Rothbart:    Mikalai Radziush / Iurii Kekalo
Alexander:    András József Rónai
Pas de trois girls:    Lili Felméry / Yuliya Golovyna / Cristina Balaban

Tchaikovsky’s first ballet is the most beloved classical piece in ballet literature: while the hardships of love between a prince forced into marriage and a maiden enchanted into the form of a swan is one of the most charming Russian romantic fairy tales, the piece nevertheless failed at its original premiere in 1877. The same female ballet dancer portrays both Odette – the pure, innocent white swan– and Odile – the seductive, manipulative black swan, in Rudi van Dantzig’s opulent 1988 production, first performed by the Hungarian National Ballet in 2015.

Running Time: 2 hours 50 minutes (excluding two intermissions).


MICHAEL MESSERER: Don Quixote (U.S. production premiere)
Friday, November 9 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 10 at 8:00 p.m.

Choreography by Michael Messerer, Kasyan Goleizovsky, Marius Petipa, Alexander Gorsky
Libretto by Marius Petipa
Music by Ludwig Minkus

Conductor:    János Kovács

Don Quixote:    Attila Szakács
Sancho Panza:    Maksym Kovtun
Kitri:    Tatiana Melnik
Basil:    Gergely Leblanc
Espada:    Mikalai Radziush / Iurii Kekalo
Mercedes:    Jessica Carulla LeonLea Földi

The balletic history of Don Quixote is almost as old as the art form itself, with the first version of the ballet premiering in 1740 followed by notable reinterpretations by Marius Petipa (1871) and Alexander Gorsky (1902), among others. The Hungarian National Ballet will present its newest staging of the classic ballet created in 2012 by Michael Messerer, who sought to preserve elements of the Petipa and Gorsky versions while emphasizing the dramatic narrative of the ballet.

Running Time: 1 hours 40 minutes (excluding two intermissions).


LOL: Three Pieces by Hans van Manen
Sunday, November 11 at 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 11 at 8:00 p.m.

Choreography by Hans van Manen

Trois Gnossiennes
Music by Erik Satie

Solo female:    Lili Felméry / Cristina Balaban
Solo male:    Mikalai Radziush / Iurii Kekalo

5 Tangos
Music by Astor Piazzolla

Solo female:    Minjung Kim / Karina Sarkissova
Solo male:    Gergő Ármin Balázsi / Gergely Leblanc

Black Cake
Music by Jules Massenet, Pietro Mascagni, Igor Stravinsky, Leoš Janacek, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

1st pas de deux solo female:    Cristina Balaban / Lili Felméry
1st pas de deux solo male:    Balázs Majoros / Gergő Ármin Balázsi
2nd pas de deux solo female:    Karina Sarkissova/ Alrtemisz Bakó-Pisla
2nd pas de deux solo male:    Ievgen Lagunov/ Dmitry Timofeevas
3rd pas de deux solo female:    Lea Földi
3rd pas de deux solo male:    András József Rónai / Iurii Kekalo

The trio of Hans van Manen works scheduled for the Koch was performed by the Hungarian National Ballet last year for a celebration of the choreographer’s 85th birthday.  With each demanding different skills from its performers―Black Cake, bubbling with giddy froth, Gnossiennes, austere and starkly modern, and 5 Tangos, a dance of multiple changing moods―the dances showcase the breadth of the performers’ dramatic and technical gifts.

Running Time: 1 hours 10 minutes (excluding one intermission).


Tickets, priced from $10 to $119, are available beginning Monday, April 16 from the David H. Koch Theater, at, by calling 212-496-0600, or by visiting the box office in the lobby of the theater at 20 Lincoln Center.  Early ticket buyers will receive a 30% discount through May 16, 2018.


The Hungarian State Opera was founded in 1884 by the Government of the Kingdom of Hungary, and its first directors were Ferenc Erkel, a Hungarian conductor, composer, and key figure in Hungarian opera culture, and Frigyes Campilli, a dancer, choreographer and ballet master of Italian-German origin, who founded the first ballet troupe in Hungary. With two theaters―the opulent neo-Renaissance-style Opera House and the more modern Erkel Theatre―the company can accommodate an audience of more than 3,200 people on a single night. Repertoire includes well- and lesser-known Hungarian and international operas and ballets, as well as contemporary and commissioned works. Each year, the company presents more than 200 performances of 60-70 operas, more than 100 ballet performances, as well as musicals, and orchestra concerts, making it one of the busiest opera houses in the world.  The Hungarian State Opera contracts a roster of 150 singers, and has three ensembles: a 200-member symphony orchestra; the first and largest professional chorus in Hungary, which also has 200 members including the children’s chorus; and the only classical ballet company in Hungary with its 130 members. For more information, visit

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