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The night before we left Budapest, we saw an opera with my colleague A and her husband M at the Hungarian State Opera House (i.e., Magyar Állami Operaház).

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We saw Tosca despite the giant display says Cosi fan tutte.

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The foyer was very ornate, reminded us a little bit of Versailles (see pictures here).

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Months in advance, A booked the tickets online but we were lucky that tickets were still available online just a few days before.

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We picked up the tickets up just before the opera starts. The house was full.

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The horseshoe-shaped, three-floored auditorium is intimate and a dazzling construct of red and gold.

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It was built in nine years and completed in 1884. Miklós Ybl’s neo-renaissance palace has remained virtually unchanged in the 130 years.

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The boxes are decorated with gilded balustrades and arm rests.

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Between the boxes are dividing guardrails made from gilded tin and shaped to resemble leaves and the head of a Greek or Roman soldier.

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The round ceiling is decorated with Károly Lotz’s monumental cupola fresco.

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Refreshments during intermissions.

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The buffet hall where patrons can drink, socialize and walk outside to a terrace overlooking the main street.

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There were several couples, dressed elegantly or flamboyantly (depending on your sensibility) in formal wear, posing for selfies on the grand staircase.

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While in NYC, we went to the opera occasionally. But we really enjoyed this performance of Puccini’s Tosca. These are our Mario, Floria and Baron Scarpia. Bravo.

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If you are visiting Budapest, seeing an opera is a really enjoyable and affordable experience, and it was convenient since they have a helpful website.

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One Comment

  1. A magnificent building! One can imagine the grandeur of Budapest before WW1.


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