Budapest is one of the greatest capital cities of the world with a wonderful setting along the two banks of the Danube, a bewildering eclectic architectural heritage and a stunning atmosphere.
Budapest is full of architectural gems (for example iconic Heroes' Square and the Chain Bridge), atmospheric streets, has several pleasant parks and islands, and of course the majestically flowing river Danube, which cuts the city into two parts: Pest and Buda.
The Opera House is not only one of the most significant art relic of Budapest, but the symbol of the Hungarian operatic tradition of more than three hundred years as well. The long-awaited moment in Hungarian opera life arrived on September 27, 1884, when, in the presence of Franz Joseph I. the Opera House was opened amid great pomp and ceremony.
Designed by Mikós Ybl, a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture, the construction lived up to the highest expectations.
Ornamentation included paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art of the time: Károly Lotz, Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Alajos Stróbl.
Many important artists were guests here including Gustav Mahler, the composer who was director in Budapest from 1887 to 1891. He founded the international prestige of the institution, performing Wagner operas as well as Magcagni’ Cavalleria Rusticana. The Hungarian State Opera has always maintained high professional standards, inviting international stars like Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Monserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, José Cura, Thomas Hampson and Juan Diego Flórez to perform on its stage