Budapest Festival Orchestra
Press Releases February 28, 2014


Iván Fischer’s new opera entitled The Red Heifer will be performed again at the Vígszínház this summer. The opera’s premiere in October was a roaring success, and drew international attention, even appearing on the front page of the New York Times as well as in the British Opera Magazine in a detailed analysis. The production directed by Tamás Ascher and Kriszta Székely will be performed again by artists of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, guest soloists, actors, singers, dancers and the third-year acting class of the University of Theatre and Film Arts.

Iván Fischer, music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, has been writing music for 15 years, and his compositions have since been performed in several countries. He has cherished the plan of “The Red Heifer” since the 1980s, but only recently felt that the subject matter – the story of the Tiszaeszlár blood libel – has become topical again. “The same responses, stereotypes and petrified, unreasonable prejudices are appearing – as if we were back in the Red Cow Inn again in Nyíregyháza in 1883.” – said Iván Fischer.

Hungarian writer Lajos Parti Nagy, who wrote the poems included in the piece, holds similar views: “First and foremost, Iván is interested in the repentance of the boy betrayed and forced to bear false witness, as well as in the relationship between son and acquitted father. This way, of course, he also expresses his opinion on this madness and horror, but he primarily talks about reconciliation and leniency, which we lack so much.”

The Red Heifer performances in October 2013 earned massive acclaim among audiences and critics. “….Sensational, powerful and emotionally rich” …. “It will be an enduring topic for discussion” ...”An unforgettable experience” – some opinions of the performances in October.

Iván Fischer’s opera will be played on 23 and 24 June at the Vígszínház, while on 28 and 29 June the production will be staged in Berlin too.