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Hackney Empire and Armel Opera Festival present the prize-winning Szeged National Theatre production of The Magic Flute

directed by Róbert Alföldi

Fri 21 Oct- Sat 22 Oct 2016

Hackney Empire 291 Mare Street London E81JEJ
Tickets Ł35.00 to Ł10.00. Box Office 0208 985 2424. Fri 21 Oct- Sat 22 Oct 2016. 7.30pm.
Overground to Hackney Central, Buses 30, 38, 48, 55, 106, 236, 242, 253, 254, 276, 277

This prize winning production of Mozart's The Magic Flute directed by Róbert Alföldi will be at Hackney Empire on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 October 2016. The production will be performed in German with English surtitles.

The Armel Opera Competition and Festival was founded in Budapest in 2007. It now culminates in the first week of July each year when five opera productions (usually including one new piece of work and featuring young and emerging artists in a number of the leading roles) from across Europe are showcased.

The Festival and its partner venues/companies stage 5 opera productions in 5 different countries. The partners in 2015 were the Szeged National Theatre (Hungary), English Touring Opera (London), Cluj-Napoca Hungarian Opera (Romania), Muziektheater Transparent (Antwerp) and Josef Kajetan Tyl Theatre (Czech Republic).

The first round of the competition takes place in Paris and Budapest. An international jury selects the best singers for the leading roles in 5 chosen productions. Up to 30 competitors can qualify for the second round.

The second round takes place in Budapest where the directors and conductors of the 5 productions cast a number of the 30 competitors in leading roles for their own productions. All of the successful competitors prepare and rehearse for the performance with one of Armel's partner opera houses/companies. The productions then each get a single performance at the Festival at the Thalia Theatre in Budapest. The audience and a panel of international judges watch the performances and award prizes for Best Performer, Best Production and Best Creative Team.

Each year ARTE/ARTE Concert and Bartok Radio broadcast the operas and film a documentary about the Festival transmitted throughout Europe. The judges in the 2015 Festival came from the UK, France, Switzerland, Hungary and Sweden.

The winner of the ARTETV Audience Award in 2015 was THE MAGIC FLUTE from Szeged (3rd largest city in Hungary). The competition winner featured in this production was Marlene Assayag as Queen of the Night. Marlene studied in France. Her many awards include the First Prize and the Audience Award at the Concours International de Chant de Mâcon.

Award winning Róbert Alföldi, is a Hungarian actor, director and TV presenter. He was the artistic director of the Hungarian National Theatre for five years from 2008 to 2013.

Hackney Empire shares the aspirations of the Armel Festival in encouraging and showcasing new and emerging talent as well as in finding new and accessible ways to present opera. It is planned that this visit will be the start of an ongoing relationship between the Empire and the Festival that will see the winner of the Best Production Award each year play a short season the following year at the Empire. This will form part of Opera October - a new regular "festival" in the Empire's programming calendar that will feature opera of all kinds, both from the UK and internationally.

Hackney Empire’s Grade II* listed building is an eye-catching High Street presence in the lively and fast-regenerating borough of Hackney and one of London’s cultural and entertainment icons. It has become a vibrant creative hub, combining the best of tradition with innovation in its artistic programme and business model.

The Empire aspires to excellence in everything it undertakes. Diversity and engagement are fundamental to its identity and practice. The Empire pro-actively seeks to engage with communities from all backgrounds and to reflect their diversity in its customers, its artists and its staff. Although we are rooted in our local community, we also draw about 80% of audiences from across London and beyond.

The Empire’s stage and auditorium are ideal for opera and musical theatre and our staging of these lyric forms, where music is a primary means of emotional expression, demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to exploring the full spectrum between “art” and “popular culture”. This work is programmed alongside family shows (including the acclaimed annual pantomime), comedy and music.

In 2014/15 we had 150,000 visitors to the Empire. There were 176 performances of 50 different shows with a total occupancy of 72%. Tens of thousands of people have seen over 100 touring weeks of work first appearing here or developed by us over the last 4 years. Only 16% of our turnover comes from public subsidy. Our ticket prices are at least 221% cheaper than in the West End.

15 December 2017