The State Opera House in Budapest will impress you at first sight. The beautiful architecture and grandeur of the limestone façade is a preview to the rooms inside.
A neo-Renaissance opera in the heart of Budapest
The historic building opened in 1884 and continues to inspire people to this day with unforgettable opera and ballet performances. Everything from the foyer to the auditorium, boxes, ceiling and the grand staircases are impressive. The main auditorium forms a horseshoe and is spread over three floors with ornately decorated balconies and boxes. The ceiling will also draw your attention with its ornate cupola fresco and chandelier. The acoustics of this venue are world-renowned (third best in Europe after La Scala in Milan and Opéra Garnier in Paris), and the auditorium can seat up to 1,300 people. The first floor's left-side proscenium box is known as being the "Sissi box", where the famous glamour Empress used to get entertained when in Budapest (according to the legend). If you want to learn more about this Budapest institution, guided tours are available daily in English.
Budapest Operetta Theater
For a lighter version of an opera performance visit Budapest Operetta Theater. It is also the best musical venue in town, sometimes performed with a fun Hungarian twist. The auditorium has a capacity of 900 seats. This theater was reconstructed in 1966 but still contains many of its original features such as the original chandelier, over 100 years old. There are over 500 shows each year to an audience of over 400 thousand guests making this one of the city's most popular theaters.
Both venues offer extensive youth programs and events. If you are traveling with your family, it may also be of interest to children and it is worth checking what's or happenings are on for the younger audience. Although opera, ballet and music are all international languages, both venues cater for their English-speaking audiences with subtitles during many performances. If you are planning to see a show or concert, it will cost a fraction of the price compared to other European countries such as London or Vienna and the experience will be just as memorable. Make a night of it and gain an insight into the cultural offerings of this fantastic city.