You are invited to Hungary’s largest open-air theatre, where the unforgettable productions you’ll see are truly monumental. This year at the Szeged Open-Air Festival, it will be Tosca, Mamma Mia!, Singin’ in the Rain, Twelfth Night and The Hunchback of Notre Dame taking turns sweeping audiences of 4,000 viewers off their feet each night.
Szeged summers are legendary for the variety and excitement that they offer. You’ll find plenty of relaxation among the countless attractions in this city centre of Mediterranean terraces: lovely parks, marvellous art nouveau palaces, the Anna Baths, one of Europe’s most beautiful synagogues, the river Tisza, superb restaurants, imaginative ruin pubs… It would be difficult to list all the opportunities for recreation.
And that’s not even to mention the city’s iconic Votive Church, the beautiful Szeged Cathedral, which in the months of July and August also serves as the backdrop for Hungary’s largest and oldest open-air theatre, the Szeged Open-Air Festival. And to top it all off: all these discoveries waiting to be made are scarcely two hours away by car.
Have you ever been to Szeged’s starlit theatre? The hot theatre nights are like nothing else! The season kicks off with Tosca on 30 June. Singing the title role of Puccini’s popular opera masterpiece for the first time, and for a second performance on 1 July, will be the beautiful Andrea Rost. With a truly feminist plot updated to a modern setting, the piece demonstrates how our lives are guided by passion, and that while men appear to control the world, it is actually women who do so.
Now for the fourth year, the alluring and explosive disco feeling of Abba’s Mamma Mia! makes this musical already enjoyed by 57,000 viewers on Dóm Square an indispensable part of the festival’s programme. If you’re lucky, you can still snap up the last tickets for this production by the Madách Theatre. Last year’s Hollywood-themed musical Singin’ in the Rain likewise made for a rollicking show on the square. Brought to life on the stage was the grandiosity of the “dream factory” – and even a real rain shower during the familiar title song. You’re humming it to yourself already, aren’t you?
The forged love letters and merry chicanery of Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night guarantee viewers a truly good time. With a cast list that features names no less illustrious than Róbert Alföldi, László Görög, Anna Pálmai, Judit Hernádi, Gyula Bodrogi and Ferenc Elek, this production also boasts a unique visual style, with the stage’s one thousand square metres of floorboards covered with several tonnes of sand. This will be the scene where the comedy unfolds on the last weekend of July.
Inspired by Victor Hugo’s epic novel, the enchanting musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame offers a look both into the passionate and all-consuming emotions of Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Frollo and Captain Phoebus and the inimitable ambience of Paris. Starting on 11 August, viewers will have six opportunities to watch this joint production with the Budapest Operetta Theatre being staged by Miklós Gábor Kerényi – KERO®. The hideous but big-hearted Quasimodo will be played by Tamás Veréb, with Petra Gubik as Esmeralda.