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Hungary in cultural diplomacy push with first US opera tour

Update: March, 15/2018 - 11:30
Dancers of the Hungarian National Ballet rehearse for an adaptation of George Gershwin’s "Porgy and Bess" in Budapest, Hungary in January. — AFP Photo
Viet Nam News

NEW YORK — Hungary on Wednesday launched a cultural diplomacy push in New York with its prolific state-run opera planning a full two weeks of music and ballet.

The Hungarian State Opera and Hungarian National Ballet will make their US debut by sending 350 musicians and dancers to New York with support from Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government.

The October 30-November 11 performances at Lincoln Center will highlight Hungarian works including Bank Ban, a signature opera of national anthem composer Ferenc Erkel, and Bluebeard’s Castle, the only opera of early 20th-century giant Bela Bartok.

The company will also perform the more recent Mario and the Magician, based on the Thomas Mann novella, and Swan Lake in the version of late Dutch choreographer Rudi van Dantzig.

"We never had in the history of Hungarian culture anything that is this long, this big, mobilises this much (personnel) and has a budget like this," Ferenc Kumin, Hungary’s consul general in New York, told a news conference.

Szilveszter Okovacs, general director of the Hungarian State Opera, said that the government agreed to some US$3 million to support the performances in New York.

The Hungarian State Opera, whose landmark building in Budapest is under renovation, has been touring widely internationally including a 19-city tour of Japan last year.

The state opera is among the world’s most productive, with Okovacs putting its number of performances at more than 400 per year. — AFP 

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