Ferenc Erkel

Hunyadi László

Opera in three acts, in Hungarian, with Hungarian surtitles
It was in 1844, at the crest of the reform era, that Ferenc Erkel composed his patriotic opera focussing on one of the most turbulent periods in Hungarian history: the days after the victory over the Turks at Belgrade in 1456. The hero of this work set during the era of the Hunyadis, however, is neither the famous "Turk beater" János Hunyadi nor his younger son King Mátyás, but the older son László, who was treacherously sent to the scaffold while still a young knight. Contemporary viewers received the work enthusiastically, since its scarcely disguised implications reflected the political relationships of their own era; naturally its impact also comes from the music, which was based on Italian and French models, along with with "Verbunkos" traditions.  
The first Hungarian-language opera to remain an honoured part of the repertoire without interruption since its premiere, it appeared in a new production at the Hungarian State Opera in 2012. 


This is a true celebration of aesthetics. It is a generous gift from our guests for us to get the chance to enjoy one of the treasures of the music literature as interpreted by the finest performers of the Hungarian State Opera.” (Oleksandr Petik, vice president of the Subcarpathia County State Administration Office)

Act I
The death of Cillei. Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade) Castle, 1456. Mátyás Hunyadi assembles with his family's supporters in the legendary castle of the Hunyadis, where only a few months earlier János Hunyadi had beaten back an overwhelming Turkish force, thus saving Europe from the Ottoman threat for the next seventy years.
László Hunyadi daydreams about Mária Gara, his betrothed. Rozgonyi warns him of the danger to his life. Cillei arrives, and László Hunyadi confronts him over his murderous plot, prompting Cillei to draw a dagger. László's men, however, jump out from their hiding places and kill the regent. The murder fills the king with terror, and while he does not dare to openly oppose the Hunyadis, he privately plans revenge.

Act II
The king's oath. On the Hunyadis' Temesvár (Timișoara) estate, Erzsébet Szilágyi dreads that Cillei's murder will mean death for her sons. Her increasingly raving vision of the future predicts the tragic events to come.
When the king comes to visit, Erzsébet begs him to treat the Hunyadi boys benevolently.
The king feigns friendship. Meanwhile, the king has fallen in love with Mária Gara, which does not escape the notice of her father, the intriguing and power-hungry palatine, Miklós Gara. Erzsébet has only a few minutes to enjoy her sons' presence without worry. The king has summoned them and made a peace offering. Gara plays the contradictory situation to his own ends, fulfilling his political ambitions. The king publicly swears that he will not seek revenge for Cillei's murder.

Intrigues and execution. Buda, 1457. The king daydreams about Mária. Gara takes advantage of this, promising the king his daughter's hand, and also lies that the Hunyadis intend to assassinate him at the wedding. The terrified king leaves László's fate to Gara.
Palatine Gara and the king's troops disrupt the wedding of László Hunyadi and Mária Gara and throw László into a dungeon.

Photo by Csillag Pál

General cast

Ádám Medveczky / Levente Török / Zsolt Jankó
King László V
Zoltán Megyesi / Tibor Szappanos / István Horváth
Ulrik Cillei, the regent
László Szvétek / Krisztián Cser / Csaba Sándor
Erzsébet Szilágyi
Zsuzsanna Ádám / Eszter Sümegi / Orsolya Hajnalka Rőser / Klára Kolonits
László Hunyadi
Boldizsár László / Gergely Boncsér / Dániel Pataky
Mátyás Hunyadi
Lúcia Megyesi Schwartz / Melinda Heiter / Ágnes Anna Kun
Miklós Gara
István Kovács / Zoltán Kelemen / Zsolt Haja
Mária Gara
Rita Rácz / Erika Miklósa / Kinga Kriszta
Mihály Szilágyi
Máté Fülep / Sándor Egri / András Káldi Kiss
Zoltán Bátki Fazekas


Béni Egressy
Gábor Szűcs
Assistant to the director
Csaba Vasvári
Set designer
Katalin Libor
Costume designer
Enikő Kárpáti
Gergely Csanád Kováts
English surtitles
Arthur Roger Crane
Chorus director
Gábor Csiki

Sept. 29, 2012


2019. September 01., Sun, 19:00
2019. September 07., Sat, 19:00
2019. October 09., Wed, 11:00
2019. October 09., Wed, 16:00
2019. October 10., Thu, 11:00
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2019. October 11., Fri, 11:00
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2019. October 14., Mon, 11:00
2019. October 14., Mon, 16:00
2019. October 15., Tue, 11:00
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2019. October 16., Wed, 11:00
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2019. October 17., Thu, 11:00
2019. October 17., Thu, 16:00
2019. October 20., Sun, 15:00


Erkel Ferenc: HUNYADI LÁSZLÓ - Meghalt a cselszövő


Erkel: HUNYADI LÁSZLÓ - Palotás