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Opera in Budapest - yes or no?

I'm considering going to Rigoletto and/or Figaro. Both are in Hungarian (!) with English subtitles. Both are at the Erkel concert hall.

There are no scheduled performances at the Opera House while I'm in Budapest - in late September.

Posted by
4890 posts

We took a scheduled, ticketed tour of the Opera House instead, because my wife doesn't care much for opera. You haven't said if you go to the opera at home. Note that the Erkel Theater, while historic, is not the "main stage" of the Hungarian State Opera. That could be good or bad, depending on your personal interests.

(In my home town of NYC, there is endless criticism of the Metropolitan Opera for failing to develop (it would be ruinously expensive, BTW ...) a smaller house for Baroque and small-scale productions.}

Posted by
12382 posts

Opera for the sake of opera will be good at the Erkel. Or if you want to do something almost entirely "in culture" as i doubt there will be many, if any tourists (unless they were the victims of misunderstanding). However, it isn't the Hungarian State Opera House. That is under renovation for the next year.

I would look and see who is at the Budapest Jazz Club or the Opus jazz Club....

Posted by
12382 posts

I guess i should have added the Liszt Academy, The Palace of Art and the Operett Theater. All of which have great performances in outstanding venues.....

Posted by
14324 posts

Tickets for the opera are so cheap, I don't know which is more of a crime - buying tickets at prices that make me feel like a thief or passing up such a bargain. The best seats for Figaro are $13.50. The top seats for Rigoletto are twice that.

Thanks for the other suggestions, nothing grabs me though. I'm a little disappointed that the Opera House is closed; I didn't get to see it on my last visit, so I guess I'll have to go back yet again.

How dressed up do I need to be for opera at the Erkel?

Posted by
12382 posts

Then go and have a blast. Get the most expensive tickets available to help ensure you are among the locals. The Erkel is in the dreaded District VIII; one of my favorites. From where i believe you are staying you take the 4/6 Tram from the end of Kiraly utca to the Blaha Lujza tér stop (second stop) and then a short walk up Rákóczi út. The map may show a route a bit shorter but i think you will be most comfortable on Rákóczi út. After the opera you will note that the New York Palace Cafe is very near Blaha Lujza tér. Here you can blow all the money you saved on the tickets in an atmosphere of pure opulence and excess: http://www.salonrestaurant.hu/main-page.html (make reservations)

Posted by
14324 posts

Thanks for the idea, James, but I think I'll wait until my next trip . . . when you invite me there ☺

Posted by
14324 posts

Then if I'm in town, I'll invite you for wine tasting at Chez Chani. If I'm in town . . .

Posted by
1623 posts

The beverage prices at that Salon Restaurant, both liquor and juice and coffee, are crazy.

Even though the soup has strawberries and the dessert has olives and sour cream, I wouldn't call that crazy, just culturally interesting, but the drink list is nuts.