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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).


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


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


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


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


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


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


The boxes are decorated with gilded balustrades and arm rests.


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


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


Refreshments during intermissions.


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


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


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.


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.


One Comment

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

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