Budapest Wagner Days
“No Tickets for Bayreuth? Budapest Has a Wagner Festival, Too.” So read the headline from the effusive 2013 New York Times review of the Budapest Wagner Days. A lot of water has flowed down the Danube since then, but the success of the Wagner festival conceived by Ádám Fischer remains – in the eyes of critics and the audience alike – unbroken. Naturally, we will get to marvel at this wonderful experience once again in June 2024.
The series of performances kicks off with a song recital by the world-famous Danish baritone Bo Skovhus, with a selection of late Romantic gems of the intimate genre by Strauss, Schönberg and Mahler, along with Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder. Partnering with him on piano will be the versatile Austrian musician Stefan Vladar.
For quite some time now, the Ring tetralogy has served as the crux of the June festival, as its stories of gods and heroes drawn from Germanic mythology that make up this series of music dramas also holds up a mirror to today’s world. The perceptive staging by Hartmut Schörghofer will once again come to life under the baton of Ádám Fischer, and, in the course of the four evenings, we will get to encounter such powerful singers as Iréne Theorin, who has taken our breath away year after year as Brünnhilde, and Christian Franz, who has likewise fascinated the audience on many occasions in the role of Loge. And the long list continues, starting with Johan Reuter’s commanding Wotan, Karine Babajanyan’s emotional Sieglinde and Stefan Vinke’s implacable Siegfried, along with returning Hungarian artists like Atala Schöck and Erika Gál.
And again in 2024, the Budapest Wagner Days will end with a programme that can both serve as an introduction to the composer’s works for those who are just getting to know him and as a source of great joy for die-hard fans, when Fischer helms the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra in the Gods and Heroes concert, enchanting the audience with the most popular hits from the Wagnerian oeuvre.