The Viceroy Bánk is a work of genius, and of our great classics – Csongor and Tünde and The Tragedy of Man – it is the one best written for the stage. Like Shakespeare, Katona is no mere philosopher. He presents a series of characters who evoke sympathy, identification, love, contempt and hatred in the audience. He builds the dramatic construct out of still valid, gripping, gut-felt and ultimately tense conflicts
The Viceroy Bánk reminds us of a series of ever-topical issues: that we have been stuck between East and West for thousands of years, our sense of being in-between, the recurrence of the same historical conflict patterns, that we are not understood and at odds with the rest of the world. But Katona does not get didactic, instead, he weaves a profoundly touching story of love, loyalty, seduction, betrayal, patriotism, power and politics” – says director Attila Vidnyánszky, who is staging The Viceroy Bánk again at the National Theatre following the 2002 and 2017 versions (and after staging Ferenc Erkel’s famous operaversion many times).
“When I started working on the production in 2002, I had the feeling that the world was changing. And by now, the world has changed – radically and irrevocably, so I decided to create a new performance bringing new ideas, this time with young people. We Hungarians must come once again face-to-face with the issues that have been challenging us for a thousand years: division, discord and hatred, passed down through the generations.
Section: Nemzeti Színház Showcase
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.