Introduction



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Notes

1 Hungarian theatre literature has observed the way the original genre of the play – a parody of the classicist French tragedy – was transformed into a mere musical play without parodistic connotations. Cf. Ferenc Kerényi, “Magyar színészet Pest-Budán (1790–1796)” [Hungarian Acting in Pest-Buda (1790–1796)], in Magyar Színháztörténet 1790–1873, p. 77.

2 K. Kreutzer’s opera Cordélia was the first opera given in 1830 “according to the Italians’ custom without spoken words”; at the 1836 première of Bellini’s I Capuleti ed i Montecchi in Kolozsvár a return to the prose dialogues can, however, be seen as evidenced by the play-bill. See Ferenc Kerényi–László Gerold, “A vándorszínészet második szintje: a klasszikus értelemben vett vándortársulatok és színjátéktípusaik” [The Second Layer of Touring Players: the Touring Companies in the Classical Sense of the Word and their Types of Plays], Magyar Színháztörténet 1790–1873, p. 206.

3 Amadé Németh, Az Erkelek a magyar zenében. Az Erkel család szerepe a magyar zenei művelődésben [The Erkels in Hungarian Music. The Role of the Erkel Family in the General Hungarian Musical Culture]. (Békéscsaba: 1987) = Fekete könyvek, 9.

4 The proportions of actors to singers in the German Municipal Theatre were 23:9 for men, 16:8 for women. See Ferenc Kerényi, “A Pesti Magyar Színháztól a Nemzeti Színházig (1837–1840)” [From the Hungarian Theatre of Pest to the National Theatre (1837–1840)], Magyar Színháztörténet 1790–1873, pp. 265, 267.

5 A typical example of multifariousness recalling the years of touring companies was the figure of Benjámin Egressy, the factotum of the Hungarian theatre and librettist of Erkel’s first three operas; he appeared as singer and prose actor alike, provided the theatre continuously with translations of stage works and composed as well; the excellent baritonist Mihály Füredy put plays on the stage, József Szerdahelyi sang, staged plays and composed, Mme Schodel carried piano scores of operas from abroad and occasionally instructed other singers.

6 See Vörösmarty’s critique of the opening performance: Mihály Vörösmarty, Drámák, elbeszélések, bírálatok [Dramas, Short Stories and Critiques]. III. (Budapest: Szépirodalmi, 1974), pp. 662–665.

7 Ferenc Kerényi, “A Nemzeti Színház a polgári forradalom előestéjén (1840–1848)” [The National Theatre on the Eve of the Bourgeois Revolution (1840–1848)]. Magyar Színháztörténet 1790–1873, p. 282 (table).

8 According to the almanacs of the National Theatre, membership of the orchestra fluctuated between 32 and 37 in the 1840s while Bátori Mária was on; the number of players was 39 in 1852, 46 in 1858 and 45 in 1859–1860.

9 The National Theatre soon achieved such an advantage over the German Municipal Theatre in the field of playing operas that the latter stopped staging regular opera performances long before it burnt down in 1847. The primacy of the National Theatre is reinforced by the travel report of the great Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen visiting Pest in 1842: “Buda has a theatre, too, Pest possesses even two (not to mention the summer theatre in Városliget), the most famous of them being the National Theatre in which only Hungarian plays are performed [sic]. It is also used as a concert hall...” See Útikalandok a régi Magyarországon [Travel Adventures in Former Hungary]. Ed. Sándor Haraszti–Tibor Pethő. (Budapest: Táncsics, 1963). = Útikalandok, 41.

10 Erkel composed two series of variations on the themes from Csel, which are now lost but the fragmentary manuscript of a further series of variations on a theme from the opera for piano and string quintet survived. See Ervin Major, “Erkel Ferenc műveinek jegyzéke. Bibliográfiai kísérlet” [The Catalogue of the Works Ferenc Erkel. A Bibliographical Attempt], offprint of Zenei Szemle 1947. II., III. Budapest, 1947, p. 7; Ervin Major, “Erkel Ferenc műveinek jegyzéke. Második bibliográfiai kísérlet” [The Catalogue of the Works Ferenc Erkel. Second Bibliographical Attempt], Magyar Zenetörténeti Tanulmányok. Ed. Ferenc Bónis. (Budapest: Zeneműkiadó, 1968), pp. 11–43, particularly p. 17, as well as Amadé Németh, A magyar opera története a kezdetektől az Operaház megnyitásáig [The History of the Hungarian Opera from the Beginnings to the Opening of the Opera House]. (Budapest: Zeneműkiadó, 1987), p. 47.

11 András Dugonics, Bátori Mária. Szomorú történet öt szakaszban. Endrődy Sándornak Dugonicsról írt tanulmányával. [Bátori Mária. A Tragedy in Five Acts. With a Study on Dugonics by Sándor Endrődy], (Budapest: Aigner, 1881).

12 Amadé Németh, A magyar opera története a kezdetektől az Operaház megnyitásáig [The History of Hungarian Opera from the Beginnings to the Opening of the Opera House], p. 57. – In the 1835/1836 season of the Theatre at Buda Castle Benjámin Egressy appeared in Dugonics’s play as Szepelik. See Gyula B. Bérczessy, Egressy Béni zenei alkotásainak jegyzéke [Catalogue of the Musical Works by Béni Egressy]. Manuscript commissioned by the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

13 Canto 3, verses 118–136.

14 Deutsche Theater in Pest und Ofen 1770–1850. Normativer Titelkatalog und Dokumentation. 2 vols. Ed. Hedvig Belitska-Scholtz and Olga Somorjai. (Budapest: Argumentum, 1995), vol. II, p. 664, No. 4726.

15 Cited in Gusztáv Heinrich’s study to the edition of Dugonics’s drama (Olcsó Könyvtár, 1887). See also Kálmán D’Isoz, “Egressy Béni első dalműszövegkönyvéről” [On Béni Egressy’s first opera libretto], offprint of Nos. 16 and 17 of Zeneközlöny IX. (Budapest: 1911).

16 Deutsche Theater in Pest und Ofen 1770–1850. Vol. I, p. 455, No. 2941, as well as Wolfgang Binal, Deutschsprachiges Theater in Budapest. (Wien: 1972), p. 477.



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