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Budapest's State Operetta Theater arrives in Israel for the first time to perform at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center between Wednesday, October 10, and Sunday, October 14. More than 80 artists - singers, actors and dancers - take part in this large-scale show, which is performed with colorful costumes and spectacular sets.
Budapest, along with Vienna, is the home of operetta - a light opera with dialogue, sweeping melodies, dances, not-too-complicated plots and an inevitable happy ending. It was two Hungarians, Franz Lehar and Imre (Emmerich) Kalman, who - along with "The Waltz King of Vienna," Johann Strauss Jr. - created the genre as we know it today. The Budapest Operetta Theater, inaugurated in 1923, is today one of the major European companies preserving and developing the genre. Its repertoire features classics, Hungarian revivals and new productions.
The show, which has toured North America and Asia as well as Hungary's neighbors, showcases segments from popular operettas such as Countess Maritsa, The Bat, The Land of Smiles, The Merry Widow and The Circus Princess.
This is operetta at its best, with excellent singing and stunning acrobatics. The dancing ranges from waltzes and polkas to mazurkas and - yes - Hungary's trademark chardash. Having caught the production in Germany, I can attest that few shows on this professional level have ever been seen in Israel - a not-to-be-missed opportunity.
The ensemble consists of actors from several generations, including veteran standard bearers Marika Oszvald and Daniel Vadasz (the latter a soloist at the Budapest Opera), as well as younger artists like soprano Anita Lukasc and David Szabo. The show also includes one of the best-known dancer/comedians of the Hungarian operetta, Karoly Peller.
Violinist Zoltan Magam, the founder of the Budapest Gypsy Band, will guest star in the Tel Aviv shows. His repertoire varies from folk music and classical to jazz, which he has performed with well-known artists ranging from Bonnie Tyler to Chris Normannel. The Israel Chamber Orchestra will accompany the show under Hungarian maestro Istvan Sillo.
For details, visit www.galaoperetta.co.il or www.tkts.co.il, or call (03) 604-5000.
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