Designed by Miklós Ybl, who also planned St.Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika), the Hungarian State Opera opened in 1884. Lavish inside and out, a gorgeous fresco by Károly Lotz gleaming in a vast bronze chandelier in the Main Hall, the Opera is home to the Hungarian National Ballet founded the same year. While its ornate wrought iron and grand marble are given an overhaul, its productions are being staged at the Erkel Theatre until 2019.
Renovated and reopened in 2013, the formerly named People’s Opera once hosted the likes of Toscanini, Nijinsky and the Ballets Russes, Ella Fitzgerald and Béla Bartók. The Erkel Theatre has been operating under the same umbrella as the Opera House since 1951, and its current agenda features classical concerts, ballet, musicals and opera.
When Franz Liszt, Liszt Ferenc to Hungarians, established his Music Academy in 1875, it was at his home in Vörösmarty Street, now a memorial museum. Today’s Liszt Ferenc Zeneakadémia, on the square also named after the composer, is an Art Nouveau masterpiece created in 1907. Since its redevelopment in 2013, it has mainly arranged its own concerts, featuring stars such as Joshua Bell, Chick Corea and Steve Reich.