professor, University of Szeged
„Vero e Bello – True and Beautiful"
Verdi operas on stage at the Szeged Open-Air Festival
In the first era of the Festival (1931-39) the choice of plays complied with the sacral trait of the location. Verdi's Requiem was performed in the Dóm in 1938. Then in 1939 Aida was staged. Twenty years later in 1959 the program-politics of the regenerating Festival is labelled by openness and a variety of genres: the presence of dramas, classic and modern ballet, folk dance, operas, operettas, musicals can be observed. Verdi and Puccini operas are performed in huge and spectacular sets. Examining the tendencies it appears that from the international opera literature of the past hundred and fifty years Verdi's works dominate the programs of the open air theatre. After the restart nine of his operas were staged with international participants in the Dóm Square in the course of twenty-one years. Old ways seem to be changing now. The last time we could see Aida was in 2003 and Nabucco in 2005. Moreover, no Verdi opera was put on stage in 2013 in the bicentenary year by the Festival which by all means has a rich history of opera-staging. We are looking for answers to the following questions: is the genre being thrown into the shades? Is the beauty and humanity of the Verdi operas alien to the directors of contemporary theatre and to the audience of the 21st century? Megosztom