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bartok 2016 logo 1This year we celebrate the 135th anniversary of Béla Bartók’s birth. Bartók Plus Opera Festival 2016 would like to remember him by placing even greater emphasis on his ouvre.








On this occasion the composer is paid particular attention all over Hungary. In the series of the programs related to the Bartók Year announced officially, you can find concerts, festivals, exhibitions, international music competition and a complete critical Bartók edition, as well. 

Obviously, for Bartók Plus Opera Festival every year is a ’Bartók year’, but now, because of the anniversary, it is especially important for us. In the programme of the festival held between 10-19 June 2016, we would like to pay tribute to our most important composer by placing even greater emphasis on his works.

Bartók Plus Opera Festival is the only opera festival in the world under Bartók’s name. The event, which is held in Miskolc, Hungary every year since 2001, made the town very fast an important stronghold of the opera scene in Central and Eastern Europe. It is renowned as the pre-eminent Bartók festival, one of the primary missions of which is to sustain and spread Bartók's legacy. His works are performed at the festival every year, his stage works are sometimes presented in traditional, other times in modern stage-directions, always in the interpretation of excellent artists.

kekszakallu 2015 edv 8Scene from Bluebeard's Castle – Bartók Plus Opera Festival 2015Until 2012, from year to year different composers or musical eras accompanied Béla Bartók's works in the festival programme. According to the new concept, announced four years ago, now we emphasize the operas after Bartók; this is how the sign ’Plus’ should be understood. Besides continuing the presentation of Bartók’s works, now his name is also a reference point: it means, that after him a new era started in music, he strongly influenced the music of the next decades, and he still does, until today. His art is regarded as revolutionary, making him one of the most important composers in the history of music.

Since it is an opera festival, the composer’s only opera, Duke Bluebeard’s castle is performed in Miskolc every year.

In the previous fifteen years several stage directors brought their ideas of this work into reality, for example Miklós Szinetár, György Selmeczi, Balázs Kovalik, Gábor Kerényi Miklós (KERO®), Róbert Alföldi, Gergely Kesselyák, Árpád Jutocsa Hegyi and Tamás Juronics. Bluebeard’s role was interpreted – again, without aiming to give an exhaustive list – by singers, like László Polgár, Alexandru Agache, Gábor Bretz, István Rácz, István Kovács, Krisztián Cser or András Palerdi. Judit was sung by Éva Marton, Viktória Vizin, Szilvia Rálik, Gyöngyi Lukács, Bernadett Wiedemann, Andrea Meláth and Viktória Mester, among others.
Naturally, in the history of the festival the audience could also watch Bartók’s other two stage works many times: The Wooden Prince and The Miraculous Mandarin
However, at this year’s festival, on the 11th of June in the Ice Hall of Miskolc you can see all the three stage works of the composer in one evening. In the large-scale performance called ’Bartók Marathon’, thanks to the special concept of stage director Géza M. Tóth, we can follow ’all the stages’ of a woman’s life.

Besides the works mentioned, this year’s festival programme also contains many instrumental compositions of Bartók.

fabol faragott 2015 vj 3Scene from The Wooden Prince – Bartók Plus Opera Festival 2015At the Closing Concert on the 19th of June the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra will play under the baton of Zoltán Kocsis. There you can listen to Bartók’s Dance Suite, Concerto, an early piece called Two Pictures, and Sándor Veress’ composition called In Memoriam Béla Bartók.

The concert named ’Meeting of Bartók Choirs’ will also take place on the 19th of June, just as the program ’Bartók-Jam’, which will close the festival. In the latter different intrumentalists will play Bartók adaptations in different styles.

During the ten days of the festival there will be several chamber concerts, and Bartók’s works will be part of the programme in all of them.  

Besides the performances there will also be a strong emphasis on the scientific approach of the Bartók ouvre. On the 11th and the 12th of June a two-day conference will be held by the name ’Bartók and the stage – a conference of Art, Philosophy and Science’, and from the 13th of June a six-day lecture series will begin, the title of which is: ’The Bartók ouvre’.



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