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Encouraged by the success of Britten's Noye's Fludde performed at the Mahler Festival, the Budapest Festival Orchestra will add at least one children's opera to the programme for the coming season – said Stefan Englert, director, at the orchestra's recent press conference.

The opera with almost one hundred performers premiered in the MÜPA at the beginning of September, and has since been performed in five schools from Csepel to Gödöllő. Performances in another five schools are planned from February. Experience has shown that it is the 8-14 age-group that gets involved most readily in the performances, and so this will be taken into account when selecting the new venues.

The BFO plays close attention to younger audiences, and this is demonstrated by the film competition which has again been announced for high-school students – with the inspiration this time round to come from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4. The winners last year were the students of the Lauder Javne school with their adaption of R. Strauss’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, and they were able to accompany the BFO on one of its tours. On 19 April the winning film will be presented while the Orchestra is playing.

Bartók concerts will be played in the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall on 9, 10 and 11 December, The Miraculous Mandarin and Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, which will also be performed on 16 December in the Vienna Konzerthaus.

Since there will be no Christmas concert this year, the BFO has put together a special offer for its audiences: tickets can be chosen from a total of eight concerts, and on a “choose 5-pay 4″ basis the ticket for the fifth concert is free.

The introduction of “vouchers” represents another new feature in the life of the Orchestra.

The “BFO comes knocking” series is to continue as well: when the BFO is on tour around the country the musicians hold mini-courses in local music schools or conservatories – if there is one – and this year they will be knocking on the door in Kaposvár.

The BFZ is to open the Italian-Hungarian Season of Culture in Rome on 18 May too.