Do you want to know how it felt stepping inside the organ of the Müpa, right among the pipes? I was just as excited as in my childhood when my grandparents let me get in the attic full of old treasures. My heart was beating in my throat: I couldn’t even imagine how an organ from the inside could be, but my “tourist guide”, organist László Fassang, told me a lot about this magic instrument, one of the biggest concert hall instruments in Europe, which is like a mystic sanctuary: monumental, mysterious, breathtaking. And when the deepest pipe started to play while I was behind it… that was incredible, both for body and soul.
As part of the Müpa Loyalty Programme, I was invited to this extraordinary visit where I could see how the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall is without an audience. We looked down from the organ balcony to the covered rows, and we could admire the bright and harmonic colours of the walls. A concert hall gets to be alive from the presence of the audience, but it is a special experience to see how it silently waits for people to arrive in the evening.
But it wasn’t only the organ tour that I could take part in as part of the loyalty programme. Before the lockdown, there used to be special guided tours, rehearsals, private events, and professional presentations on my calendar, and apart from the cultural tidbits, it was great to meet other Müpa fans from time to time, and greet them as old friends after a while.
“Extra advantages, private events, special experiences: the Müpa loyalty programme has more than 24000 delighted members already”
– says the Müpa website about this opportunity. The system is very easy: with a few clicks, one can register for free to receive a Müpa card, and if we buy tickets as a registered member, every ticket and season ticket brings us points. The more we have, the higher level we get – from silver to gold to platinum -, and the higher we are, the more discounts we get. Aside from the exclusive programmes, there is a chance to pre-purchase tickets and season tickets, to have a VIP parking place, and to pay a lower price for the tickets, season tickets and in the instrument shop, bookstore and restaurant in the building.
During the covid-19 pandemic, the building of the Müpa is closed, but they still use the extraordinary situation to have more and more streams in the Müpa Home programme and in the media archive of concert videos, literature nights and podcasts. From 1st to 24th December, there was an Advent calendar on the website. For the first 23 days, the videos required a registration, but the big surprise on the day of Christmas Eve was to open up the digital media archive for everyone until 3rd January 2021.
Members of the loyalty programme can also reach the whole archive even after that date, making the remaining weeks of the lockdown a bit more manageable with a rich and internationally renowned content to watch and listen to at home.
And when the pandemic is finally over with the vaccines getting more widespread, we can go to the Müpa and the Ludwig Museum again to enjoy arts among the well-known faces – and the organ pipes, from the smallest to the biggest.
Article: Zsuzsanna Deák
Translation: Zsófia Hacsek