Budapest – Where Music Thrives

by Steve
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Erkel Theater - Budapest

It was off again on my favorite discount airlines, Wizz Air. This time it is to Budapest, Hungary for a four day weekend of immersing myself in music and the performing arts.

Tonight’s music was a ballet by Tchaikovsky that is produced around the world at this time of the year, “The Nutcracker”. Did you know this ballet provides a good portion of annual ticket revenue for many major American ballet companies?

The Nutcracker would normally be held in the Hungarian State Opera House, but it is undergoing major renovations and will not reopen until 2019. Because of that, all productions are being held in the Erkel Theater, named after a Hungarian composer who was the father of the Hungarian grand opera.

I am looking forward to when the State Opera House is reopened because the inside of it is beautiful! Hopefully the renovations will make it even more impressive!

This is my second time to see The Nutcracker. The first was about 30 years ago in Chicago, Illinois. In fact it was the first ballet I had ever seen. And it turns out I wouldn’t see another till I started living in Europe. Of course ballet has been performed much longer in Europe than in the States, having originated during the Italian Renaissance in the 15th century. The Hungarian ballet company was established in 1884.

The Nutcracker is one of Tchaikovsky’s most popular compositions. Parts of the Nutcracker were composed during his stay in Rouen, France. I bring this up because I was in Rouen a couple months ago as I was visiting the Normandy area. I love to connect the dots in History Thru Travel!!

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