Gryllus Samu - Varga Vince - MuPATh (AT)

Hostage Opera

3600 HUF
discounted: 3200 HUF
student: 2600 HUF
Trafo passes are accepted

A documentary opera abduction about the limits and rules of freedom.

The Hostage Opera is a socially themed work created in international cooperation, applying both the contemporary theatrical and musical experience in an original way, and using the knowledge of the traditions of the genres and their current formulation. The performance enables the audience to grasp a deeply human and tragic situation through music and theatrical interaction giving the spectators a very special emotional experience.

Who pays the price of freedom? How does it feel to be a hostage? Kidnapped by the sons of a senior party member who want to leave state socialist Hungary behind and flee to Austria. What happened during the five nights in 1973 when two young men imprisoned fifteen girls without water or food? Hungarian writer Csenge Hatala has unearthed the documents of the hushed-up history of her hometown and conducted interviews with the living participants. We invite you to join us in the search for possible answers to the questions that this historical event has been posing for 50 years.

Vince Varga has been working as a theatre maker in Hungary for ten years and has also performed in Austrian, German, and Swiss theaters. His works are born at the confluence of audiovisual storytelling, graphic design, theatre, sound design, composing, and live performances. At Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, the audience could meet his media design and composers' works in performances by TÁP Theatre, Anna Biczók, Csaba Molnár and László Fülöp, among others. 

MuPATh - music performance art theater was founded by Rupert Bergmann and Samu Gryllus in 2008 with the mission to support new creation in a multidisciplinary artistic field. 

The vocal performers of the Hostage Opera are two opera singers and two actors. Tara Khozein Ecuador-born, Iranian-American soprano, living in Budapest since 2018, the Vienna based actor Josefa Beil, the Austrian-American bariton Dominik Förtsch, Vienna based composer, actor, active member of MuPATh association. 

Hatala Csenge's first documentary novel, News Blackout: The Hostage Drama in Balassagyarmat, was published by Athenaeum in 2015. The curiosity of the book is that most of the former victims of the hostage crisis speak about their experiences here for the first time.

Samu Gryllus is an original and versatile artist of his generation. As a composer often works with musicians coming from diverse music-social backgrounds. His main interest is multidisciplinarity in performing arts, with focus on the performed musical identity. Since 2010 he counts as an expert of Soundpainting - a sign-language used in education and performing arts. 

Black Page Orchestra founded 2014 in Vienna, is an ensemble for radical and uncompromising music of current times. The ensemble focuses on compositions using electronics, video and different technologies in an artistic context as well as pieces with performative character.

Concept and musical direction: Samu Gryllus 
Director and media design: Vince Varga 
Performers: Josefa Beil, Dominik Förtsch, Tara Khozein, Kornél Mikecz
Black Page Orchestra (Yukiko Iwata - Saxophone, David Dorning - Guitar, Péter Tornyai - Violin, Irene Frank - Cello, Enrique Mendoza - electronics) 
Dramaturgy, text, subtitles: Beata Gerendás, (libretto based on the documentary novel "Hírzárlat" (News Blackout) by Csenge Hatala) 
English translation: Vera Budai 
Programming: Djindji Ergimen 
Light: Máté Bredán 
Sound: Csanád Regele 
Project management: Fruzsina Dézsi 
Production: MuPATh, ProProgressione, WUK performing arts

National Cultural Fund of Hungary, Ministry of Human Resources, Austrian Cultural Forum Budapest

Hostage Opera EMMI-Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma
Hostage Opera NKA - Nemzeti Kulturális Alap
Hostage Opera Osztrák Kulturális Fórum
Hostage Opera Pro Progressione
Our ticket office is closed until 22 August.:
  • Main hall performance days: 5 pm - 10 pm
  • studio and club performance days: 5 pm - 8:30 pm
  • other days: 5pm - 8 pm
Trafó Gallery opening hours:
  • Performance days: 4-10pm.
  • Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 4pm-7pm.
  • Closed on Mondays.

  • The Trafó Kortárs Művészetek Háza Nonprofit Kft. works in the maintance of Budapest Főváros Önkormányzata.

Media partners

Cooperative partners