Stay home if you can. We have been hearing this all over for over a month now. Wash your hands, wear a mask and gloves if you still have to leave your home. And if you want a theatre or concert experience, you have the internet – I mean, if your broadband connection is strong enough. And these are all old recordings, as cultural institutions are closed as well, no matter we try to maintain the illusion with a jointly started livestream that we are the first people to see this two-three-four-year-old concert, we, in front of our computers and smartphones. Well, it is partly true, because we are indeed the first audience like that…
Müpa is going to stay closed until at least the 30th of April, according to the latest regulations of the Hungarian government. What will come then? Who knows. Nevertheless, Müpa’s employees count on that no unliving RNA in a protein coat, even if it can destroy so much without even knowing it (as it can’t have a consciousness the way we understand), still won’t be able to destroy human spirit and its strong weapon against chaos: music. The new season will happen just like any others before, and we can already buy single and season tickets for concerts planned for the future – six months or one year, whatever.
Here are some sweet treats from next year that can still give us hope:
Jazz and Swing – not only in spring
We might had to restrain from concerts for the majority of this springtime, but according to regulations by this time, Jazz Spring will be held in May already. Cyrille Aimée, Rebekka Bakken and the Modern Art Orchestra, as well as the Sarah McKenzie Group and Gábor Bolla let us get back to normal life to the exhilarating rhythms of jazz. But we can see Branford Marsalis again, we can hear Denis Matsuev play jazz on the piano, and even the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra has space in the new season. And then Jazz Spring will be followed by the Hey June! Summer Opening Festival, with artists like Hungarian bands Anima Sound System or Mongooz and the Magnet.
A bridge that we need more than ever
‘You know what is still good in this virus?’, an English acquaintance of mine asked the other day. ‘Since news are only revolving around this topic, there’s no word about Brexit!’ She was right, political division disappeared not only from news but also from everyday life. The common enemy brought the “divided kingdom” to be “united” once again. But the questions of identity within an island country that has left the EU for the first time in history will stay with us even after COVID-19. Beyond economic effects, what will be the social and cultural ones of this? How can someone be European who voted for Remain, and how can someone who voted for Leave? Being in Britain for over two years by now, and looking back to the EU from the outside since the 31th January, I’m very happy for the decision to have the United Kingdom in the spotlight of Müpa’s and the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s programme European Bridges.
Wagner, Liszt and Berlioz
We can have a lot of late Romanticism in the new season as well – by three composers of three nations. Pieces by Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz will be played during the all-day music marathon in early 2021, and then in the summertime of 2021, five operas of Wagner will be played: the Ring tetralogy and the Lohengrin. We can buy a combined season ticket for the latter two: the Wagner ticket has the whole Ring in it and a discounted single ticket for Lohengrin. Recommended for hardcore Wagner fans!
Bundles of love for everyone
I could bring more examples from Müpa’s season tickets, my preferred genres or artists at the expense of others, but after thinking about it a lot, I decided I won’t do that. In the end, the fourteen season tickets are there to find the one that resonates the most with one’s personal taste. You can also look at one and shout: hey, this is personally for me! Whether it is old music, chamber music, a cooperation of orchestra and soloist, theatrical concert, young talents, arias, or feasts and oratories? In such a long list, everyone can find their own favourites. And if you still have difficulties with choosing your season ticket, no worries – in another article, I’ll show you something that can help! 😉