Strike Hits Budapest Opera, Performance Proceeds Without Orchestra or Correct Stage Design

  • 22 Mar 2024 8:29 AM
  • Hungary Around the Clock
Strike Hits Budapest Opera, Performance  Proceeds Without Orchestra or Correct Stage Design
Ferenc Erkel’s opera titled László Hunyadi was performed without an orchestra before the stage design for Mozart’s Don Giovanni of the previous night, at the Opera House on Wednesday evening, as a strike by some members of staff entered its second day.

The normally four-hour performance was compressed into 75 minutes.

Opera House director Szilveszter Ókovács delivered a speech again on Wednesday evening before the show scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

He informed the audience that the orchestra would join the singers at 8 p.m. and would play the best-known parts of the opera.

Spectators were told that they could get refunds for their tickets. Many did so at the intermission.

Those who did not take advantage of the opportunity to redeem their tickets were offered a 25-minute short film with Hungarian narration about the history of the Opera House, with a glass of free pezsgő.

Those who stayed heard several arias performed with a piano accompaniment, as the orchestra did not join the performance after all.

The arias were received with a long round of applause.

Performances have been changed due to the Opera staff members strike in the past few days.

The strikers demand an immediate wage hike and collective contracts.

Péter Balázs Bárány, president of the Independent Union of Opera Staff members, said this is not just about wages indexed to inflation, as a collective bargaining contract is needed so that the institution cannot exploit its workers.

Photo: Valter Berecz

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