Sunday, December 17, 2017

Magyar Állami Operaház

Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház) is lavish neo-Renaissance opera house that is originally known as the Hungarian Royal Opera House. It is the second largest opera house located on Andrássy Avenue

For those who are into opera performance, ongoing programme and the history of the hose, please visit HP. Since this is a photoblog, I'd stress more on stunning interior view.

In front of the building are statues of Ferenc Erkel and Franz Liszt. Liszt is the best known Hungarian composer. Erkel composed the Hungarian national anthem, and was the first music director of the Opera House; he was also founder of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra.

The opera house was designed by the Hungarian architect Mikós Ybl, whereas the Baroque ornamentation, sweeping marble staircases, the frescoed ceilings, vast chandeliers, rich velvets and gilded tiers of seats in the auditorium were mainly contributed by Hungarian painters, Bertalan Székely, Károly Lotz and Mór Than.

Ticket counter
Construction began in 1875, funded by the city of Budapest and by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. The new house opened with great fanfare on September 27, 1884. In the 1970s the state of the building prompted the Hungarian State to order a major renovation which eventually began in 1980 and lasted till 1984. The reopening was held exactly 100 years after the original opening, on the 27 September 1984.

As soon as entering the building, you notice that, in its beauty and the quality of acoustics, the Opera House is considered to be amongst the finest opera houses in the worldThe foyer is supported by nine marble columns. The vaulted ceiling is covered in murals by Bertalan Székely and Mór Than. They depict the nine Muses.

Grand staircase
A vast, sweeping staircase was an important element of the opera house as it allowed ladies to show off their new gowns. This is the meeting point where guided tour starts.

Feszty Bar
Feszty bar (Opera Cafe) is the place to enjoy booze and light meals before, during or after the show. The bar is flanked by corridors that used to be the place for smoking in the past...

Royal staircase
The royal staircase is a private entrance from the carriage ramp in Dalszínház street leading to the parlors on the first floor. This somehow reminds me of Ceremonial Stair Hall in Hungarian National Assembly (see this entry)...

Two bronze statues and portraits are exhibited there.

Auditorium -  a view from the VIP room in the second floor
The biggest attraction of the tour is, needless to say, the horseshoe-shaped, three-floored auditorium!!! Rich in gold red colors with stunning fresco in the ceiling, the auditorium is capable of accommodating 1261 audiences.

Mikós Ybl’s neo-renaissance palace has remained virtually unchanged in the 130 years since and continues to attract admirers of opera and ballet alike.

Visiting tours with mini concert (option) in several languages are available here. No need to book in advance. Be there prior to the tour.

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