A majestic opera house
The renowned architect Miklós Ybl designed the opera house in the Neo-Renaissance style with several Baroque elements. Expectations for his latest work were extremely high in the late 19th century, and during the festive opening in 1884 the curious crowds knocked down the porters in their rush to catch a glimpse of the brand-new building. Story has it that Emperor Franz Josef, who financed the huge project, was not overly impressed with the results. Like it or not, this is clearly a majestic building. And a visit to the opera brings you in good company: the façade features statues of the world’s greatest composers such as Liszt, Mozart, Beethoven and Verdi. 2 imposing Sphinxes guard the main entrance to the spacious foyer, and famous Hungarian painters have decorated the interior with stunning frescos and mosaics. The auditorium has a classic appearance, with red being the primary hue in the fabrics used for the seats and heavy curtains.
Visiting an event
The Hungarian National Opera offers an extensive programme in this superb setting, including classic operas and ballets like The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky or Madame Butterfly by Puccini. Attending one of these events is an amazing experience. Don’t worry about the ticket prices as they are very reasonable. The evening shows are always popular among elegantly dressed locals. We recommend the Sunday matinee, where you’ll see dapperly dressed elderly ladies and gents coming to enjoy the music after lunch.