I will be in Budapest for four nights and would like to see an opera and folk dancing performance. Any suggestions as to which venues are the best or does it matter?
The Folk Dance show is a little long and redundant for my taste but here, The State Folk Ensemble is supported by many as being the best of the two major ones by others than just their own advertising (I have only seen the Danube Folk Ensemble): http://hungarianfolk.com/ The State Folk Ensemble is a little less convenient for most visiting because its in Buda, but Budapest is easy to navigate.
For Opera, well, you go to the Opera house. http://www.opera.hu/ Buy your tickets as soon as possible and dress appropriately. Be a little careful the Hungarian State Opera has a second theater known as the Erkel. Its a great place but not what you want for your vacation. Look for the "E" in the calendar of events to identify programs at the Erkel.
For Operett you go to the Operett. This is actually my favorite past time in town. We've seen at least half of their productions and a couple twice. http://www.operettszinhaz.hu/operett.php Again, please dress appropriately. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/austria/proper-attire-for-opera-35ac258a-acfa-47bd-8ba6-34ddd2b596c1
Both the Opera and the Operett if you purchase the best seats you will get to be with Hungarians. If you purchase the cheap seats you will most likely be with tourists. As for the folk dancing? All tourists.......
We were in Budapest for 5 days last June, and had no problem getting tickets to the Opera the day of the performance. I just walked in that morning and asked for the "standing room only" seats. They aren't "standing", just obstructed view. And during the first intermission, an usher came through and assisted people into better seats in the house that were unoccupied. So for HUF 500 (about $2) we had great seats in one of the most beautiful opera house in Europe. Surely the best entertainment deal of our whole trip.
Thanks for the information, however, from what i got from the website, it looks as though both the opera and the operette don't have performances in July. Does anyone know if that is correct?
You didn't say you were going in July. July, August and the first half of September is the traditional break period for performance theater. You might have better luck in places like Vienna where tradition has given way a little more to tourism.
For July you will need to look for special events and smaller venues and tourist specific events like the Opera boat or Church Concerts or the folk dancing shows or even some of Budapest's fine Jazz Clubs. If you are there on a Friday evening there is a good klezmer concert along with dinner at Spinoza's. Give me some dates and I can do a little looking around for you.
Thank you for the offer to help; I would appreciate that. We will be in Budapest July 13-17, so no weekend night. We did want to see a folk dancing performance and from what I found we can go to that any night of the week, but if you were able to find another concert or performance that would be great.
Budapest is about the music and when you visit during the summer break you can miss out on the heart of the city if you don’t dig a little deeper.
Go to a restaurant with gypsy music: http://www.karpatia.hu/en/megkoez-eng or my favorite for this sort of thing: http://www.rezkakasbistro.hu/en/?menu=musicgallery or this one we go to often because its near where we stay : http://www.callascafe.hu/index_en.html but even these folks with their sort of American Chili’s sort of environment (with good Hungarian food) have a piano player most evenings: http://pest.vakvarju.com/
Okay, you owe me for this one. July 15th at the Zoo. Yes, the Zoo. Budapest has one of the oldest Zoos in the world and it is incredibly enjoyable. Now, for why you owe me: KLEZMER! The absolute best Klezmer band in the world is the Budapest Klezmer Band. These guys/gals are amazing ………. AND they are doing one of the summer concerts at the Zoo. This is pure eastern Europe entertainment with deep cultural roots. You would be nuts to miss this. If I could get away from work I would go:
Wednesday July 15, 2015 at 20:30
(rain day: Thursday 16 July 2015)
25 years of music - concert 25
Budapest Klezmer Band
Guest: Mariann Country
A hint of who these guys are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VdoHnidz70
Speaking of Jazz; the Opus Club at the Budapest Music Center has performances every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening: http://opusjazzclub.hu/ The music is always good and the menu is pretty gourmet.
Then there are the Church Concerts (pure tourist, but pretty good): http://www.budapestbylocals.com/organ-concerts-in-budapest.html
I will keep digging for you. But if it were me I would do Opus on night a restaurant one night and the Klezmer Band on the 15th.
Wow! This is great information! Thanks you for all the work and ideas. I think we will do as you suggest and try to fit in the free organ concert Wed. afternoon. I'm getting so excited to go! If you have any other suggestions please pass them along.
The advantage of the Opus Club and the Klezmer concert is that they will be full immersion activities. My experience is that you will not see any other tourists. If you do I doubt they will exceed 5% of the spectators.
Another great activity is to wind down after dinner, the club, or the concert at a local wine bar. My favorite is a place named Kadarka not far from the Opera House.