ARMEL OPERA FESTIVAL 2019 – members of the jury:

BERNARD FAIVRE D’ARCIER, former director of Avignon Festival, Vice President of the Biennale de Lyon, Chairman of Carolyn Carlson Company – France

 JOSE CORREIA, Program manager at ARTE / ARTE CONCERT – France, Paris

 JULIA DESBRUSLAIS, Executive director of the London Mozart Players – United Kingdom, London

 JOEL FRAM, international music supervisor and conductor – USA

 DAVID SULKIN, OBE, director of Artist Development at the National Opera Studio – London

 GREGORY VAJDA, Music Director of Huntsville Symphony, Permanent Guest Conductor of the Symphonic orchestra of the Hungarian Radio, Program Director at Péter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation, Artistic Director of Armel Opera Festival – Budapest/Hutsville

President of the Jury:

HENRY LITTLE, Chief Executive of Opera RARA, Chairman of the National Opera Coordinating Committee – London


Tuesday, 2 July 2019, 7:30 PM
MÜPA Festival Theatre, Budapest

Daníel Bjarnason:


A production of the the Icelandic Opera
Based on Brothers, a movie by Susanne Bier
Director: Kasper Holten

In English, with Hungarian subtitles

Watch here


A production of the the Icelandic Opera
Based on Brothers, a movie by Susanne Bier

Michael: Oddur Arnþór Jónsson
Sarah: Marie Arnet
Nadia: Selma Buch Ørum Villumsen
Jamie, Michael’s older brother: Joel Annmo
Peter: James Laing
Anna, Peter’s wife: Thora EINARSDOTTI
The Father: Jakob Zethner
The Mother: Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir
The Colonel: Ólafur Kjartan Sigurðarson

Script: Kerstin Perski
Musical Director/Conductor: Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason
Stage Designer: Steffen Aarfing
Assistant Director: Amy Lane
With: Alba Regia Symphony Orchestra

Director: Kasper Holten


The internationally acclaimed opera director, Kasper Holten is the father of the so-called “Northern-style” opera. This performance is a must for any opera enthusiast who is longing for something special.

Michael and Peter are going to fight in a war. Their helicopter is shot down and they are believed to be dead. When Michael finally returns home, he finds that nothing is the same any more. Terrible secrets are revealed, causing serious tension. However, the real drama lies in Michael’s confession. He finds himself in a deep moral conundrum related to the limits of self-preservation. Is it a sin to kill out of self-defense?

Wednesday, 3 July 2019, 7:30 PM
MÜPA Festival Theatre, Budapest

Ivo van Hove
Annelies Van Parys:

The Diary of One Who Disappeared

A production by Muziktheater Transparant (Belgium)
Director: Ivo van Hove


Watch here


A production by Muziktheater Transparant (Belgium)

Mezzo Soprano: Marie Hamard
Tenor: Andrew Dickinson
Actor: Wim van der Grijn

Piano: Jonathan Ware

Production Design: Jan Versweyveld
Costume: An D’Huys
Dramaturgist: Krystian Lada
Subtitles: Pieter-Jan Buelens
Stage Manager: Anne van Es
Props: Ray Vaessen
Lights: Luc Schaltin
Production Manager: Eglantine Möller

Assistant Director: Romain Gilbert

Director: Ivo van Hove


Belgian director Ivo van Hove is the founder of Tonnelgroep Amsterdam, the creator of several international opera and theatre performances and the winner of several theatrical awards. Currently, he is one of the leading experimental directors in Europe. 

Written by Leoš Janáček (1854–1928), this is a twenty-two-part song cycle about a a village boy who falls in love. This fascinating story inspired the highly talented writer, Annelies Van Parys to create additional works and extend the original piece with her own compositions. The miniature deals with topics such as passion, exclusion and identity, in an intimate atmopshere.

Thursday, 4. July 2019, 7:30 PM
MuTh Theatre, Wien

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

The Marriage of Figaro

A co-production of the National Theatre of Győr and Co-Opera, Hungary

Director: Máté Szabó

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A co-production of the National Theatre of Győr and Co-Opera, Hungary

Comic opera in 4 acts, performed 2 parts, in Italian with German subtitles


Count: Lajos Kendi
Countess: Beatrix Fodor
Suzanna: Bori Keszei
Figaro: Bence Pataki
Cherubino: Viktória Mester
Bartolo: Tamás Busa
Macellina: Mária Farkasréti
Basilio: Gergely Biri
Don Curzio: Zoltán Takács
Barbarina: Johanna Németh-Nagy
Antonio: Béla Laborfalvi Soós

With: Orchestra and Chorus of the National Theatre of Győr
Director of Chorus: Eszter Balogh
Coach: Szilvia Mikó
Conductor: Ádám Medveczky

Stage Designer: Csörsz Khell
Costumes: Mari Benedek
Assistant Director: Erika Tóth and György Magyar
Prompter: Anna Barcsák
Stage manager: Szilveszter Karácsony
Dramaturge: Judit Kenesey

Assistant Director: Zoltán Takács
Director: Máté Szabó

Producer: Dr Dániel Vadász


This is a 232-year-old masterpiece inspired by a highly influential and controversial play by Beaumarchais, which premiered five years before the French Revolution. In response to the strict censorship of the era, Mozart and Da Ponte tried to dampen the harsh social criticism of the French writer in their opera (even though it is still pretty obvious that the deleted content is still expressed through the score). Mozart intended to address much more than the issues of a particular era, his main interest lying in man itself, together with all its vices and aspirations. This explains why it is almost irrelevant where and when Figaro is rendered. Even after 232 years, every single sound and word is still valid. It is us, humans, who have stayed the same.

Komische oper“, proclaims the musical score. Mozart’s genius lies in the fact that he skillfully combines the elements of opera buffa and opera seria. He is always ready to use comical gags with irresistible humour, while also readily conveying the tragedy of situations. This duality is expressed best in the figure of the Countess, whose character is almost entirely dramatic. Mozart expresses life itself in his music and his plays; the inescapable duality of tragedy and comedy. This production proposes to show nothing less.   /Máté Szabó/

Friday, 5 July 2019, 7:30 PM
MuTh Theatre, Wien

Csaba Horváth – Marcell Dargay:


theatre performance with music based on Monteverdi’s piece ’The Duel between Tancred and Clorinda’ and the writings of Sándor Tar

A production by Forte Company – Trafó House of Contemporary Arts – Armel Opera Festival, Hungary
Director: Csaba Horváth
With: Metrum Ensemble

Watch here


A co-production by Forte Company – Trafó House Of Contemporary Arts, Hungary – Armel Opera Festival, Hungary

László Fehér, Nóra Földeáki, Henrietta Hojsza, Barnabás Horkay, József Kádas, Csaba Krisztik, Norbert Nagy, Márton Pallag, Kristóf Widder

Opera singers: Zoltán Megyesi, Anna Molnár
With: Metrum Ensemble
(Marcell Dargay – pf, Éva Eszter Farkas  – va, Anna Rákóczy – fl, Anna Petrovics – fl, Balázs Kántor – vc, Benedek Tóth – perc, Ernő Hock – db)

Musical Director: Lajos Rozmán
Composer: Marcell Dargay

Text (based on short stories by Sándor Tar): Csaba Horváth, Nóra Földeáki

Costume: Mari Benedek
Lights: Ferenc Payer
Production Manager: Anna Kudron, Szandra Nádasdi
Production manager for Metrum Ensemble: Katalin György-D.

Assistant director: Franciska Stangl
Director: Csaba Horváth


The piece is based on Claudio Monteverdi’s 1638 scena when the Crusader knight Tancred fights Clorinda, the pagan girl to a tragic ending. The theatre play uses the instruments of physical theatre and music to futher explore the timeless morale of the story and the dramatic situation. Equal emphasis is laid on the classical sound articulation of opera singers, the more simple and natural singing of actors and the static and dynamic possibilities of stage situations arising from the interaction of prose manifestations and bodies. The mixture of different languages (Italian, Hungarian) further increases the dramatic effect. The performance is not an adaptation, transcription or a recasting, but an entirely new and independent stage piece. In the musical aspect of the piece an important role goes to certain elements of contemporary music as well as to the cross-talk between the writings of Tasso and Sándor Tar chosen as literal base of the piece.
The piece is a co-operation between the famous Hungarian composer Marcell Dargay, the Hungarian director-coreographer, Csaba Horváth (leader of Forte Company), the artists of Forte Company, two opera singers and the Metrum Ensemble with Lajos Rozmán, musical director. Csaba Horváth’s first opera direction can be seen at MuTh theatre in Vienna, exactly at the 30th anniversary of the change of the political system in Hungary. In Autumn, the production will also be performed in Budapest at Trafó House of Contemporary Arts.

Saturday, 6 July 2019, 7:30 PM
MÜPA Festival Theatre, Budapest


Don Giovanni

A production by MusArtEH (Ecuador) and Armel Opera Festival (Hungary)
Director: Róbert Alföldi
With: Pannon Philharmonic

BEST PERFORMER – 2019     Ricardo Panela



Watch here


A production by MusArtEH (Ecuador) and Armel Opera Festival

Don Giovanni: Alex Rodriguez
Donna Elvira: Vanesa Regalado
Donna Anna: Katharine Dain
Leporello: Ricardo Panela
Don Ottavio: Mark Van Arsdale
Masetto and Commedatore: Hyalmar Mitrotti
Zerlina: Vanessa Freire

With: Pannon Philharmonic
With: Coro MusArtEH
Conductor: Tibor Bogányi


Stage and Costume Design: Ildi Tihanyi
Director: Róbert Alföldi


Directed by Róbert Alföldi, Mozart’s Don Giovanni is staged as a co-operation between the Ecuadorian-Hungarian Music Foundation (MusArtEH) and the Armel Opera Festival. The popular opera is one of the pet projects of the director. Known for his knack for reinterpreting the classics by shifting the emphasis as well as for his masterful skills in creating and resolving dramatic tension, the audience will surely be treated to an outstanding rendition of Mozart’s masterpiece.

A further interesting feature of the performance is that Róbert Alföldi will direct this opera in Ecuador, in the Teatro Casa de la Cultura.

The characters of Donna Anna, Leporello and Don Ottavio will be impersonated by the winners of the Armel Opera Competition.

Don Giovanni is one of the most well-known pieces of Mozart in the world. The first scene starts with a duel ending in a murder. However, the murderer, who is a handsome young knight, does not respect men or law, goes on living carelessly the life of heart-breakers. Nevertheless killing a man cannot remain unpunished. The audience can feel this restless atmosphere through the whole opera, with sometimes comic situations, until the appropriate punishment.