Erkel Ferenc: Dozsa Gyorgy (1867)

Grand Opera in Five Acts. Running Time: 1 hour 53 minutes. This opera is a strange duck. It is considered to be the most malleable of Erkel’s scores, which meaning that numbers and entire sections of the work can be reworked, rearranged, dropped, added, without it harming too much because the plot is half-meaningless. Apparently […]

Erkel Ferenc: Sarolta (1862)

Comic Opera in three acts. Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes. This was Erkel’s first fiasco, being performed only ten times by 1901 and in the previous decade it had a single performance, although recently it has been making a tiny revival of sorts in Hungarian theatres in Romania and Hungary. The decision to write […]

Erkel Ferenc: Istvan kiraly (1885)

Grand Opera in four acts. Running Time: 2 hours 22 minutes. Stand by for another of my 500-word introductions to an Erkel opera. This is Erkel’s sort of Parsifal. Slowly with each opera that he produced he moved away from an Hungarian mimic of Italian and French (also Weberian) forms in his first three operas into something […]

Erkel Ferenc: Hunyadi Laszlo (1844)

Opera in three acts (sometimes given in four acts). Running Time: 2 hours 33 minutes. Although Batori Maria was his first opera, and Bank Ban is the Hungarian national opera, I consider Hunyadi Laszlo to be Erkel’s masterpiece and the first great Hungarian opera (although is there much competition? I mean if one googles “Hungarian opera” and you remove the operettas, […]

Erkel Ferenc: Bank Ban (1861)

Grand Opera in three acts. Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes. Okay, this intro is long (over 500 words) however, this opera requires some pre-review critiquing of its myriad productions and of the historical events and legends that the plot revolves around. I have a confession to make: I both love and hate this opera. […]

Erkel Ferenc: Batori Maria (1840)

Opera in two acts. Running Time: 2 hours 13 minutes. This was Erkel’s first opera, commissioned in 1838. Actually it was also the first true opera in Hungarian as prior to this score all Hungarian-language operas were actually singspiels. The Maria of the title is fictional but based on Ines de Castro, mistress of King […]