In 2012, the Festival was extended to the rest of the year, enlarging the limits of its original summer months with the brilliant invention of the “Autumn Trilogy”, whose formula alternates three different operas on the same stage on consecutive nights. After the masterpieces of Giuseppe Verdi’s “popular” trilogy (Rigoletto, Trovatore, Traviata), the tribute to the composer from Busseto was replicated on his bicentenary, 2013, with a “marathon” of his “Shakespearean” operas (Macbeth, Otello, Falstaff). In 2014 the trilogy offered the opportunity to admire the Ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre from St. Petersburg (Swan Lake, Giselle, ’900 Triptych). In 2015, a tribute to Giacomo Puccini and his most beloved masterpiece, Bohème, celebrated the genius of another universally known Italian composer, to whom the musical theatre of the twentieth century is profoundly indebted.
In 2016, from October 14th to 23rd, the Autumn Trilogy is back with a Danubian triptych that will pay tribute to the great civilisation that flourished while the Austro-Hungarian Empire was coming to its twilight, when Vienna and other cities of the Empire like Budapest played cradle to an extraordinary multicultural ferment. But it is also an homage to an often underestimated genre of musical theatre, the “operetta”, which produced such masterpieces as the ones included in this Trilogy: three new productions of the major Hungarian theatres of Gräfin Mariza (Countess Maritza) by Emmerich Kálmán, Die Fledermaus (The Bat) by Johann Strauss, and Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow) by Franz Lehár. They will be presented in their integral version, which flawlessly combines drama, music, and dance, and represents the illustrious forefather of the musical theatre of Broadway and the West End, thanks to composers like Offenbach and Gilbert & Sullivan.
The journey along the Danube river, after three days of dazzling performances in the city centre, will end with the Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra of violins, violas, cellos, double basses, clarinets, and cimbalombs in the best Mittel-European tradition, whose programme will alternate scores by famous composers such as Liszt, Bartók, Kodály, Brahms, Čajkovskij, and Strauss to traditional Hungarian and Gypsy music.