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The Hungarian Opera Theatre is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, and its construction was ordered by Emperor Francis Joseph. The architect responsible for its design was Miklós Ybl, who meticulously supervised the building work between 1873 and 1884. The building was inaugurated on the 27th of September with the representation of the Bánk Bán opera, led by Ferenc Erkel, who opened every season from then on.
You will find that it is a neo-renaissance style building, clearly inspired by the Vienna Opera house. Its facade contains a portico of three arches surrounded by statues of two of Hungary’s greatest composers: Erkel and Liszt. On its first floor the façade display images of the recesses of the muses of dance, poetry, comedy and tragedy, while higher up there are sixteen statues of well-known European composers like Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Beethoven and Puccini.
If you cannot make it to any of the performances, we recommend that you sign up for one of the guided tours available here, these often include a short musical act. A visit here will also enable you to see the absolute opulence of the theatre’s interior, whose decoration is made up of marble, gold and frescoes.
The auditorium is horse-shoe shaped and holds up to one thousand, three hundred people. It is also crowned by a lovely bronze lamp weighing three tonnes and the royal gallery is of marble. Its ceiling contains a beautiful fresco by Károly Lotz and shows the God of music, Apolo, surrounded by three Greek divinities.
On the first floor you will also find a small museum with objects connected to the theatre’s history, such as posters, tickets and musical scores. We highly recommend though that you do not leave without visiting the theatre’s cafe. This is found in the entrance and features a ceiling displaying three scenes from the life of Dionysius, it is truly magnificent.
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