State Opera House, Budapest
The Opera House was designed and built in Renaissance style according to the plans of Miklós Ybl. It was Ferenc Erkel who conducted the inaugural concert in 1884.
The statues of Ferenc Liszt and Ferenc Erkel, outstanding contributors to Hungary's musical life, can be seen on either side of the risalit. Both statues are the work of Alajos Stróbl.
Inside decorations (allegorical frescoes) are made by famous hungarian artist Bertalan Szekely, and at the entrance to the foyer are landscapes from Arpad Feszty (who also made the famous Feszty "round-picture" about the incoming of Hungarians to the Carpathian Bassin).
The ceiling of the horseshoe-shaped three storey auditorium is decorated with the paintings of Károly Lotz. The Opera House was reopened after reconstruction in 1984, the year of its centenary.
What would you do the first evening?
We went to the opera. Instead of paying
a ticket for a guided tour we went for the real
thing. A performance. I heard that the Opera
house was very beautiful.
It is in Italian renaissance style.
On one side of the entrance you can find a
statue of Liszt and the other Ferenc Erkel
who was the first director of the opera.
All the other figures in the facade are muzes.
Muses of the dance , poetry comedy...
The 16 figures on top are important composers.
The interior is overpowering.
1300 persons can have a seat in this building.
In 1983 , when the building turned 100 it was
I really think you need to see it from the inside.
The picture is the gigantic chandelier surrounded
by a painting with apollo and Olympus.
I'll add a nightlife tip on how to book.
The Opera House was opened in 1884 among great splendour in the presence of King Franz Joseph. The building was planned and constructed by Miklós Ybl, who won the tender among other famous contemporary architects
The Hungarian State Opera House, built between 1875 and 1884, is considered one of the world's finest examples of Neorenaissance architecture designed by Miklós Ybl.
It was opened on 27th September 1884 in prescence of Kaiser Franz Joseph with the first act of the hungarian opera Bánk Bán, the overture of Hunyadi László and the first act of Lohengrin.
It is worth taking a look at the wall paintings because they were all made by the best painters of Hungarian historicism and they are all about music. The wonderful main staircase puts a spell on every visitor at first sight.
On the main facade of the building in two closets the sculptures of Ferenc Liszt and Ferenc Erkel can be found.
On the second floor terrace of the main facade the 8 feet tall sculptures depicted the mostly respected composers of the period : Guido D'Arezzo, Pergolesi, Orlando di Lasso, Palestrina, Jacopo Peri, Weber, Rossini, Lully, Gluck, Meyerbeer, Mozart, Cherubini, Beethoven, Haydn, Wagner.
According to a ranking by New York Times it is 9th on World's Top 10 Concert Halls preceding the Carnegie Hall - New York City.
Guided tours in Hungarian, English, Spanish, German, Italian and French at 3 pm and at 4 pm every day.
Entrance fee 2200,- HUF
Budapest Opera House will enchant you not only with its ballet and opera performances but with its fine neo-Renaissance architecture.
The building fits well in with the similary elegant neighbourhood on Andrássy Avenue. Hungary's greatest Historicist architect, Miklós Ybl designed the building for the Millennium celebrations in 19th century.
Wrought iron lamps decorate the main entrance. Two imposing stone sphinxes guard the main entrance
When we were in Budapest there were no concerts, which was a real shame because we like opera and the tickets are very cheap.
But we did get to visit the building, which was nice also. The tour tickets can be bought in the museum shop. There are guided tours every day at 3pm and at 4pm, which is not really enough to my opinion. It's a real chaos before the tour starts because a huge amount of people have to be divided into groups, and during the tour the different tours still bump into eachother.
BUT: It is an amazing building, the guides give a lot of information and can answer almost any question, and with a photo permit you can take as many pictures as you want.
The tour takes about 45 minutes and costs 2500 forint/person (+500 forint if you want to take pistures)
Those of you who don't plan to attend an opera or ballet at the opera house, please join a guided tour of the building. The magnificent opera house, opened in 1884, is the main work of architect Miklos Ybl. The lobby, grand staircase and auditorium are decorated with marble, stucco, frescos all over. Really an impressive sight.
Not only the architecture, the history is also interesting. Famous musicians worked here: Ferenc Erkel, Gustav Mahler, Otto Klemperer e.g.
Tours are offered daily at 3 and 4 pm in several languages if no rehearsals or performances are scheduled, of course. Cost is HUF 2,800 (which is quite steep, some tickets for performances are cheaper). That does not even include photo permission which costs additional HUF 500. LOL!
Even if your stay in Budapest is short, a visit to the beautiful Opera House is a must. Do your best to catch a performance, any performance, during your stay. The exterior is impressive although difficult to appreciate because of the difficulty in getting a good view. But it is the interior, and especially the performance hall itself that is most impressive. If you cannot catch one of the wonderful opera, ballet, or other performances during your stay, make sure to take the informative tour. The Opera House, built in 1884 in Renaissance style and designed by Miklos Ybl, has an interesting history, and is supposedly has the second most perfect acoustics of all Operas, to the one in Milan. Gustav Mahler, my favorite composer (!), was director of the Budapest Opera for a time. The performance ticket office is through the main entrance and to your left. Use the outer entrance to the right for tours, which take place at 3PM and 4PM daily.
A tip about seating at the Opera House: if you select box seats for a performance, make sure they are in the first row in the box. Unlike other opera houses, the second and third rows of seating in each box are not elevated, so your view will be obstructed by those in front of you. If you cannot get a front row of a box, you are better off anywhere in the orchestra section on the floor.
You can take a tour inside of this building...unfortunatley our budget couldnt stretch to it, but I heard from various people that its amazing inside.
The outside of the building is beautiful....the building began in 1875 and is Italian Renaissance in style.
Along the fantastic Andrassy you can find on your right the nice Opera Theatre. It has got a Italian neo-reinassance facade, buit by Ybl in 1875-1884 with many statues on the facade. The balcony on the façade has baluster railings, with an arcaded driveway underneath. In the niches on both sides of the driveway stand the statues of Ferenc Liszt , made by Strobl, and Ferenc Erkel, creator of Hungarian national opera and the first director of the Opera House. The statues on the corner projections, between the Corinthian half columns, represent Terpsichore, Erato, Thalia and Melpomene, the Muses of dance love-poetry, comedy and tragedy. Now in the theatre seating 2,500 spectators, was rebuilt as a modern opera house and concert hall in the course of reconstruction work after the war
It is a great experience to see an opera or to listen a concert in this theatre.
The Hungarian State Opera House is a richly-decorated building and is considered one of the architect's masterpieces.
It was built in neo-Renaissance style, with elements of Baroque. On either side of the main entrance are niches with figures of two of Hungary's composers, Ferenc Erkel and Franz Liszt.
Liszt is the best known Hungarian composer and Erkel composed the Hungarian national anthem, and was the first music director of the Opera House and the founder of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra. The Budapest Opera House is considered to be amongst the finest opera houses in the world.
Each year the season lasts from September to the end of June and, in addition to opera performances, the House is home to the Hungarian National Ballet and the Budapest Opera Ball, a society event dating back to 1886.
I had hoped to see the interior of the Opera House, but on asking about times of tours, I found there were only two, and that was at 3 & 4pm - This didn't suit.
Well, at least I could see the opulent foyer, with its marble columns, gilded vaulted ceiling, beautiful murals that depict the 9 Muses and the chandeliers.
As going to the opera was a great social occasion in the 19th century, a sweeping staircase was a must in an Opera House as this allowed ladies to show off their new gowns.
The mail hall is decorated with a bronze chandelier that weighs 3050 kg, I hope it never drops on anybody! It illuminates a magnificent fresco of the Greek gods on Olympus.
I didn't see the Royal Box because you need to be on a tour. It's located centrally in the three-storey circle and decorated with sculptures symbolizing the four operatic voices - soprano, alto, tenor and bass.
TOURS ARE DAILY at 3 pm and at 4 pm .
If rehearsal is on, then most probably there will be no tour.
Tickets can be bought at the Opera Shop on the right hand side of the building.
The Budapes Opera House, a Renaissance style building in Budapest, seats about 1600 people. The prices to see a show here are very inexpensive. For $2 you can purchase seats the center seats in the balcony.
Even if you just step inside the lobby, the Opera House is an amazing sight. In the foyer alone there are marble pillars, a black-and-white inlaid tile floor and a gorgeous gold and fresco ceiling.
But definitely don't stop at the lobby because the shows here are amazing and affordable. You can see a show for as little as $2 USD. I've been twice now and both times had great seats for $4 USD. The shows are phenomenal. You definitely won't regret these 2 hours of your trip.
It's worth mentioning that there is not much leg room in the cheaper seats (upper balcony). Not a problem for me, but could be if you're tall. I'm not sure if the more expensive seats on the floor have more legroom or not. The most expensive seat in the house is around $50 USD, still a bargain compared to some world opera houses.
Have a great time!
If you like opera or ballet, it's definitely worth to spend a night at the Budapest Opera House (opened in 1884 and renovated in 1984). It's also possible to see the building on a guided tour (at 3 and 4 p.m. every day). Tickets cost 2500 HUF for adults and 1300 HUF for students (with International Student Card).
If you come to Budapest with children, it's a great idea to watch the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Hofeherke es a het torpe) fairy tale ballet in the Erkel Theatre (the theatre belongs to the Opera House Company, and although the building is not as pretty as the Opera, the ballet is absolutely lovely).
To buy tickets online in advance, go to http://www.jegymester.hu (also available in English). I always buy my tickets here and never had any trouble - you pay by card and pick up your tickets at the theatre before the performance.