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Until the beginning of World War I. the building housed an orpheum bar. When the war broke out "the palace of entertainment" closed, marking the end of the golden age of the orpheum. This is meant the end of what was later nostalgically called "the happy times of peace."
In 1923 the city of Budapest decided to give the genre of operetta a home of its own. With the opening of the Metropolitan Operetta Theatre the Hungarian capital saw the beginning of the "silver operetta" period by giving a new and permanent home to the genre after Népszínház and Király Színház. In the history of the theatre the most important thing was to cherish the traditions of the classic operetta while enriching it with modern artistic solutions. Next to Vienna Budapest is the other capital of the operetta and anyone who comes to our theatre can see the high quality of the genre represented here.
The theatre has had such legendary artists in the ensemble as Hanna Honthy, Marika Németh, Zsuzsa Petress, Anna Zentai, Kamill Feleki, Kálmán Latabár, Sándor Németh, Róbert Rátonyi or János Sárdy.
Since the mid-sixties this multitalented ensemble has been presenting musicals to great critical and popular acclaim: My Fair Lady, Hello Dolly!, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Funny Girl, Cabaret, La Cage Aux Folles, The Sound of Music, Somewhere in Europe to name but a few.
The Operetta Theatre's present house was built after the plans of the famous Viennese architect-duo Fellner and Helmer in 1894. The spacious stage of the main auditorium were surrounded by intimate booths in a half-circle on both sides, while a dance floor ensured enough room for the waltz, polka, mazurka and the galopp. Its decorative winter garden housed the most exquisite French restaurant, while on the street front a concert café was opened.
In 1966 the building was rearranged, whereby the inner architecture and rooms were changed to a great extent. Between 1999 and 2001 it was completely refurbished. The most modern European stage technology was built in and the beautiful original decoration was regained along with the balcony row of the auditorium.
Today the theatre has 901 seats in an air-conditioned auditorium.
The former objects which remained in the building - lamp statues and columns keeping the row of boxes - are in perfect harmony with the new colourful glass windows, the mirrors, the period furniture of the buffet and the wooden floor.
The auditorium is lit by a hundred-year old chandelier. The row of boxes, the golden stuccos, the walls dressed in velvet and the allegorical statuettes decorating the entrance elevate your theatre evening into a real feast.
The inner space was designed by Mária Siklós and Gábor Schinagl. The management of the Budapest Operetta Theatre considers it its duty to work as a multifunctional cultural centre in local art and social like in this beautifully refurbished building of old grandeur.
During the time of Miklós Gábor Kerényi as director the Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre is more than a venue for simple musical shows. In the past years is has become a modern European music theatre of two branches, where traditional values are represented by a new operetta concept, while modernity is present in the literary and historical musicals.
This theatre is one of the centres of Budapest's cultural and social life with nearly 500 shows a year frequented by nearly half a million spectators every year and tickets sales nearing 100%. In 2006/2007 492 performances entertained 401.079 viewers.
The theatre's musical and operetta productions are equally successful. Romeo and Juliet, Mozart!, The Beauty and the Beast, Wedding Dance, Rudolf, Elisabeth and Abigail are sold out months ahead, while The Fledermaus, Countess Marica, The Merry Widow and The Kissing Woman are awarded by standing ovations.
The written and the electronic media discuss new premieres and show in their central pages, while commercials and promotion are sponsored by the most significant Hungarian media.
The theatre's leading soloists are real stars, who excel with their achievements and personalities and who enjoy the attention of the media.
CD-d and DVD-s of shows soon become gold and platina albums and DVD-s sell in the thousands.
Tens of thousands of young fans follow the events at the theatre and wait for the actors at the stage door. They analyze and discuss shows on internet forums and are present at every important event, which the theatre e-mails them about.
In the past few years the Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre has become a renowned and sought-after company internationally. Its operettas and musicals tour in different theatres and at different festivals of Europe regularly. The theatre travels to Japan every year, but has also performed in the United States and several countries of Asia. Coproductions are frequent with Vienna, Saint Petersburg, Prague and Yekaterinburg.
Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre
17 Nagymező utca
Order your tickets online, and print them at home by Ticketportal
We'd like to kindly invite You and your kind friends to an unforgettable musical, gastronomical and touristic experience, to the OPERETTA-SHIP. During the candle-lit voyage the international program of excellent singing, instrumental and dancing artists of the Hungarian State Opera House will guarantee Your entertainment. They sing and play the most popular passages of operas, operettas, Italian, Spanish songs, musicals in the original languages, instrumental solos, and perform brilliant folklore, classical and step dances in elegant costumes.
During the exclusive voyage, while admiring the wonderfully lit night view of Budapest, you can choose from the favourite dishes of Ferenc Lehár, Imre Kálmán, Johann Strauss. The program lasts from 8 to 10 p.m. The program leads from 6 April 2007 to 31 October 2007 every Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun. from 8 to 10 PM.
-Air-conditioned auditorium, 250 square meters of terrace, dancing possibility after the performance.
-We're waiting our guests with a renewing smorgashbord menu at our new port of departure: Vigadó tér 9 (at Március 15. square)
-with Hungarian, English and German guides
The programme is guaranteed and not depending on the weather and groups can be order the performance to any day of the year.
-with dinner, program and cruise: Adults: 12.800 HUF/person. Children: free admission under 5 years of age, 5-12 8.700 HUF/person.
-without dinner, only program, cruise Adults: 8.700 HUF/person. Children: free admission under 5 years of age, 5-12 6.000 HUF/person.
A38 is an independent cultural venue on a converted Ukranian stone carrier ship, harboured on the Danube in Budapest, Hungary. A38’s objective is to become a sparkling, dynamic cultural and community centre. A38 mainly programmes international modern music (jazz, world music, rock, electronic music, etc) but also provides home for various cultural activities such as professional meetings, film, literature, digital and even gastronomy events. Check out the programme and order your tickets now! With our HOMEticket service, you can print your tickets directly after online paying, at your home.
A38 is the reincarnation of a Ukranian stone-carrier ship. With its inauguration on 30 April 2003, it started a new life on the Danube in Budapest as a cultural venue. Since its opening it has become one of Budapest's most important venues, and according to artists' feedback, one of Europe's coolest clubs. By now there have been a few thousand concert from stars like Maceo Parker, Courtney Pine, Amon Tobin, Vienna Art Orcestra, DJ Krush, Einstürzende Neubauten, Laibach, John Cale, Tomasz Stanko, Plastic People of The Universe, Boris Kovac to young and less known, cities like Pague and Warsaw have intruduced, there have been theatre plays, exhibitions, performances, wine-dinners, conferences and many more
WHAT IS IT?
A38 is the reincarnation of a Ukranian stone-carrier ship. With its inauguration on 30 April 2003, it started a new life on the Danube in Budapest as a cultural venue. Since its opening it has become one of Budapest's most important venues, and according to artists' feedback, one of Europe's coolest clubs. By its first birthday on 30 April 2004 - which happens to be the day when Hungary joins the EU - the A38 team will have managed about 200 events out of which approximately will have been international.
The name comes from Artemovszk 38, which is the name of a ship prototype and the reminder of a period of design and industrial history on the verge of extinction. A Ukrainian stone-carrier ship, built in 1968, was tugged through international waters in order to receive a complete makeover and an infusion of new life. The building project lasted for one and a half years. Architects, ship engineers, acoustic designers, electricians, musicians and promoters contributed their skills and experience to make it an understated but elegant, artist and audience friendly place with a concert venue, bars, rooms and a restaurant.
By reconstructing the ship and harbouring it on the Danube, the A38 team plays an initiative role in bringing life and living culture to the bank of the Danube in Budapest. The ship, as the utmost poetic symbol of freedom, life, travel, adventure and discovery; and the Danube, as one of the strongest symbols of Central European history and culture provide the A38 team with inspiration and serve as a compass for the whole project.
Reshaped, rebuilt and rehabilitated, A38 has become Budapest's new industrial, trendy venue, overlooking a beautiful view, with the touch of nature and the memories of old and contemporary history.
The A38 ship project is a 100% private and independent initiative. Its owner and project manager is Zászlóshajó Ltd., which was established in 2001. This company bought and renovated an old Ukrainian cargo ship, raised the funds, managed the finances and now is responsible for the whole operation. The overall cost of the renovation work, the architectural design, the interior and the technical equipment is c. € 3 million.
The building was financed by the own recourses of the founders of the Ltd. and by financial bank loans. The purchase of the technical equipment was supported by the Hungarian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Information.
Since its opening on 30 April 2003, Zászloshajó Ltd. has been managing the cultural programmes but also the catering business. Renting the ship for commercial activities and the income from the restaurant and the bars help financing the cultural activities. The team is also applying continuously for state, city and European funding for its projects.
The A38 ship has become one of the most important and best equipped cultural venue in the 11th district of Budapest therefore it agreed to provide public services for the local district. An agreement for these activities were signed and Zászlóshajó Ltd. established a Közhasznú Társaság (Public Service Company) in May 2003 with HUF 3 million stock capital. The Ltd. is the sole owner of the Public Service Company. (Kht. in Hungarian), which is a not-for-profit organisation, and fully responsible for its operation and obligations. From its income, the Ltd. is also able to provide financial backing to the non-profit organisation. The Kht has been established to implement non-profit cultural projects.
THE CULTURAL PROJECT
· open to ideas and unsolicited proposals,
· independent in decision-making and from any governmental organisation,
· future oriented in choice of the themes in the programming, of the technology and due to the programmes for children and young adults,
· international in its programming, target audiences and in its project management methods.
A38's objective is to become a sparkling, dynamic cultural and community centre:
· through imaginative, high quality programming for a wide public;
· through cultural services for the public, the artists and for the business community;
· by encouraging, archiving and documenting artistic production and process.
The aim of A38 is to become a modern, pleasant, dynamic cultural centre. Besides its international music programming it also provides home for various cultural activities such as professional meetings, film, literature, digital and even gastronomy events. The A38 team initiates and manages its own projects as well as hires the venue for independent promoters and cultural organisations for artistic events. The programming is very broad in terms of styles and genres but consistent in quality standards.
A38 has a multipurpose cultural venue with a standing capacity of approximately 600 and seating capacity of 250. It is purpose built and acoustically designed and equipped with high quality sound, light and video equipment. It is ideal for concerts of any amplified music, for film screenings, readings and other artistic events. With its stylish backstage area, dressing rooms and studio it is also a comfortable working environment for artists.
A38 is programming a wide range of jazz, world, electronic music, contemporary and rock music bands and musicians. Events are organised by the A38 team as well as a wide range of independent promoters. The result is a very colourful programme from contemporary classical music to drum'n'bass events. A38 collects a lot of creative energy though the involvement of musicians, promoters, DJ collectives and international partners. Any good, quality and financially feasible project finds home on the ship.
Since its opening, the A38 ship has welcomed several excellent international artists with the highest professional and artistic calibre such as the Vienna Art Orchestra (A), Erik Truffaz (Ch), Boris Kovac (Serbia), Maceo Parker (USA), DJ Vadim (UK), Nicola Conte (I), Amon Tobin (UK). The A38 team has also facilitated cooperation between Hungarian and foreign artists such as joint performances and recordings. Besides its regular concerts, the team started various series of music programmes like Local Waves that helps local bands to experiment, and Up-Date, that is introducing young bands to new audiences and provide them a possibility to play with high quality technical equipment. In April 2004 we are starting an exciting series supported by the EU's Phare programme called In-Fusion that brings together musicians from the enlarged Europe.
In cooperation with a team of artists, architects, IT professionals and teachers A38 has initiated a series of programmes that is to explore the relationship between real and virtual spaces. The programme includes a biweekly discussion between experts and audiences and a weekly programme for young people.
The ship also provides a unique content for the Hungarian Digital Archive by recording events, concerts and discussions.
OTHER ARTISTIC EVENTS
In the first year A38 has given home for various interesting cultural events such as literature and student film festivals, book launches. The original "Wine and arts" festival combined gastronomy, literature and arts in a stylish way.
For the future the team is developing regular literature programmes with publishing houses, all day thematic events with web journals and arts academies.
Just like last year, your favourite operettas, which make the Budapest Operetta Theatre more and more popular will stay on the repertoire. Countess Maritza (Marica grofnő) had its 100th performance, Mike the Magnate (Magnas Miska) has been played more than 125 times. Strauss' very successful operetta, The Fledermaus (A denever) will continue with the same splendid cast and with a well-known guest conductor, while in the Studio last year's great success, Baroness Lili (Lili baronő) is still on stage. And here is the very first premiere of the season: in co-production with the Thalia Theatre we will present The Kissing Lady (Csokos asszony) by Zerkovitz - Szilagyi, directed by Gyšrgy Bohm, with a magnificent cast and a famous guest star in the leading role.
In the Main Stage there is a real surprise coming - La Vie Parisienne (Paris Life, Parizsi elet) by Offenbach is put on stage in real French Bohemian style as an erotic operetta by director Attila Beres, with the operetta and musical stars of the theatre in the main roles. The musical department carries on the success series with Romeo and Juliet (Romeo es Julia) over its 200th performance, The Beauty and the Beast (A szepseg es a szornyeteg), Mozart! and the new favourites, last year's world premiere, Wedding Dance (Mennyasszonytanc) (its music available on CD from this season) and the summer world premiere of Rudolf which brought international success and appreciation to Hungarian musical actors and particularly to our theatre. In the Studio Same Time, Next Year! (Jovore, veled, itt!) and Hello Again! will continue to hold the boards.
The theatre is glad to announce that after West Side Story has celebrated its 100th performance in the Thalia Theatre, we have a new attraction coming: Altar Boyz (Oltari sracok) by Adler-Walker which is very popular on Broadway in this very minute. The Hungarian premiere will be in March supported by the Budapest Spring Festival. The play will be translated to Hungarian by Muller Peter Sziami and will be directed by a young talent of the theatre, Szilard Somogyi.
The stars of the theatre will prove their talent now by playing their part as a pop group. So be their guests and witness this season, 2006/2007 not only how their famous stars will shine in the operettas and musicals, but how the young and talented actors and directors will sparkle! We can promise you all that every member of the company is getting ready for the season with enthusiasm, joy and respect to prove that this theatre deserves your interest and love. So have fun and we wish you all many pleasant evenings! Order your ticket now!