“The 1956 Revolution and Hungary's Operatic Renaissance”
The 1956 Revolution in Hungary set in motion a unique set of circumstances that led to a veritable operatic renaissance. The period of so-called "Goulash Communism," the most lax form of Soviet Communism that officially began in 1962 under János Kádár, gave composers much more freedom of expression than in other parts of the Soviet Bloc. Freed from the repressive constraints of Zhdanovism and Socialist realism, and challenging Soviet peace propaganda, Emil Petrovics's opera "C'est la guerre" (1961) ushered in a series of new and powerful works that saw multivalent approaches to social issues on the stage. Acknowledging the pivotal role the arts, and opera in particular, have played in Hungary's history, this project considers the remarkable, if overlooked, body of operas to come from the Cold War era and explore the points of articulation between Hungarian politics and opera in depth.
Supervisor: Steven Huebner