L.A. Opera, Placido Domingo to present 19th century Hungarian opera 'Bánk bán'
Los Angeles Opera will present the 19th century Hungarian opera "Bánk bán" as part of the 2011-12 season. Composed by Ferenc Erkel in 1861, the opera is based on the play by József Katona and is set in the medieval court of King Endre II of Hungary and his wife, Queen Gertrud.
The L.A. production, which is said to be a U.S. premiere, was first reported by the Hungarian media and has been confirmed by a spokesman for L.A. Opera, who said that more details will be announced in January.
The Hungarian reports stated that Placido Domingo, who serves as general director of L.A. Opera, will conduct the performances. The announcement was made by Hungarian State Secretary of Culture Geza Szocs and Domingo, who was recently in Budapest.
"Bánk bán" tells the tragic story of the king's deputy and his relationship with the queen and her brother, who is trying to seduce the deputy's wife. The opera is considered one of the most important classical works in Hungarian culture and is frequently produced in companies throughout Hungary.
Erkel is perhaps best known as the composer of the Hungarian national anthem, "Himnusz" or "Hymn."
-- David Ng
Upper photo: Placido Domingo, right, with Hungary's state secretary for culture, Geza Szocs. Credit: Ferenc Isza / AFP/Getty Images
Lower photo: Gustavo Dudamel, left, and Placido Domingo. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times