Ferenc Erkel’s Bánk bán is regarded as Hungary’s most important national opera. Nearly unknown abroad and hardly performed outside Hungary, the opera is part of Hungary’s official national culture. What in 19th century was a necessary expression of the fight for national independency became through the centuries hollow phrases. The national romantic values within it remain a utility for an ever isolating Hungarian cultural politics.

In Krétakör’s project young activists try to recapture that national symbol, to free it from the burden of national romanticism and stereotypes. They confront themselves with the outdated heroes of the opera to define what is their own identity to understand what kind of community they want to create that deserves to be called home, and should be fought for.

(…) Hungarian activists come to Berlin with a performance and with the very mission to say the Germans in their face: maybe after Brexit with its ever more comic twists we should sit down, and stop looking for big solutions, and just talk. Not by using abstract notions about Europe’s future but about the current problems and issues of the Europeans. Although the common European idea may really be dead (the possibility of a union showing solidarity with each other seems, at least for now quite unrealistic), but thinking together is still possible. Say, we can discuss what they think about the difference between East and West: do they really consider the citizens of the post-Soviet countries some sort of second-class Europeans? Or, are they so tolerant also in their daily life with the Berlin Turkish community when they are all over the streets after a victorious European Championship match? – quote from Ádam Bicsérdi‘s article published in hvg.hu. You can read the whole text in English here.

Activists: Hanga Aradi , Orsolya Balogh, Ágnes Básthy, Dominika Birta, Dániel Fuhl, Dezdemóna Kovács, Szabolcs Szalai,  Alexandra Szarka, Arabella Wynne-Hughes / Director: Schilling Árpád / Consultant: Réka Kinga Papp  / Dramaturgy: Miron Hakenbeck, Bence Bíró  / Music: Kristóf Darvas, Sarolta Eörsi, Fanni Eckhardt / Visuals: Máté Tóth-Ridovics, Botond Nagy, Péter Terner / Management: Linda Potyondi / Lighting: Freddy Niß / Production manager: Dóra Papp / Production assistants: Réka Ugron, Sebő Kis, Réka Majsai 

The play was shown as part of the Novoflot’s Nationaloper production.

Location: Radialsystem – V, Berlin, Germany

Press translated from Hungarian to English

Read our translation of the above quoted hvg.hu article here.

Press in German

Heimatliches Hojotoho? In: deutschlandfunk.de, 2016. június. 28.

Projekt «Nationaloper» in Berlin In: musikzeitung.ch, 2016. július 01.

Press in Hungarian

Magyarországon semmi sem változott a XIII. század óta? In: hvg.hu, 2016. június. 23.

Berlinig kellett utazni egy élhetőbb Magyarország képéért In: hvg.hu, 2016. június. 28.

Így kerülnek a békétlenkedők egy színpadra Orbán Viktorral In: nol.hu, 2016. június 27.

Bánk Bán ACT – Berlinben mutatkozott be a Krétakör új projektje In: szinhaz.hu, 2016. június. 28.