"Agón is the acute, pained and anxious cry of a sensitive, fragile and self-consuming Man who wants to experience and understand the world, who realises that he is adrift, but can neither accept nor change that. His is an insightful diagnosis, an apocalyptic vision. A trial wherein the accused turns into an accuser. The condemned rebels against his condemners,” says Attila Vidnyánszky, director of the première.
Péter Pál Józsa (1960-2019), creator of the script, orchestra music and stage space, reaches back to the oldest roots of theatre: ancient Greek tragedies. He presents the spiritual struggle (agón: contest), i.e. the agony of the world – the chorus – and Man.
The audience and the actors sit together in the arena-like space reminiscent of Rome's Colosseum – In other words, we are all part of the great trial. The events are presented by four opera singers, the Honvéd Male Choir and eight actors. The production is an interdisciplinary encounter of contemporary theatre and music, a vision of the world by an unknown author and a well-known director.
"Cultural correlations, references, associations come rushing in. It's almost impossible to understand it all, to take it all in," adds the director. "Reference is made to Xerxes, the Bible, the Twin Towers. The most fascinating thing is that the work spans millennia, it shows the interconnectedness of human history. By turning the space into an arena, I've created an exciting setup - the circle is closed. Everyone sees everyone else. The spectator is totally flooded by a continuous barrage of impulses. Since there is no dramatic story in the classical sense, I have built in subtle hints, relationships and potential links, so that the spectator can hold on to some impulse and start fragments of stories in his mind about men and women, about people in power and victims. My fellow creators and I invite the audience on a tough and painful, yet exciting intellectual adventure.”
GABRIELLA BUSA / BORBÁLA TÓTH-KISS opera singer,
MARIANNA SIPOS opera singer,
a HONVÉD FÉRFIKAR, conduktor: RICHÁRD RIEDERAUER,
sings solo: ANDRÁS HAJDÚ és ISTVÁN KRISTÓF,
Conducted by: KÁLMÁN STRAUSZ
Hungarian theatre and opera director, teacher.
He was born in Berehove (Ukraine) in 1964.
He graduated in Hungarian literature and linguistics from Uzhhorod State University (1985). He taught literature and history for two years. In 1992, he graduated in theatre directing from the Karpenko-Kary State Academy of Theatre and Cinema in Kyiv.
In 1993, he founded his own company, the Gyula Illyés Hungarian National Theatre in Berehove, of which he is still the Principal Director.
In 2004, he was appointed Principal Director of the Hungarian State Opera House. In 2006 - 2013, he was Director of the Csokonai National Theatre in Debrecen.
Since 2013, he has been the Director General of the National Theatre. In 2014, he founded the National Theatre's MITEM festival (Madách International Theatre Meeting).
Since 2023, he has been a member of the International Theatre Olympics Committee and Artistic Director of the 2023 Budapest Theatre Olympics.
He has also directed at the National Academic Theatre in Kyiv (Leszya Ukrayinka Theatre), the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St Petersburg) and the Hungarian State Opera House.
His performances have toured Europe from Stockholm to Moscow and Tbilisi, from Strasbourg to Nancy and Kyiv.
He has received many awards, including Ukraine's Artist of Merit (2002), the Meyerhold Prize (2009, Moscow) and the Kossuth Prize (2011).
His films include Liberté 56, The Boy Who Turned into a Deer.
He has taught acting at the Karpenko-Kary State Academy of Theatre and Cinema in Kyiv and at the University of Kaposvár. Since 2020, he has been the master of a directing class at the University of Theatre and Film in Budapest.
He has been a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts since 2005. In 2008, he co-founded the Hungarian Theatre Society and has been its President since. Between 2010 and 2013, he also served as Chairman of the Theatre Arts Committee under the Minister of Human Resources. Since 2020, he has been Chairman of the Board of the foundation operating the University of Theatre and Film in Budapest.