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The general director of the opera house was directing a character called Mészáros out of a textbook, but he was also directing a boisterous Pagny or Marquis

The general director of the opera house was directing a character called Mészáros out of a textbook, but he was also directing a boisterous Pagny or Marquis

The guest of Alinda Visser's recent program was director Jakab Tarnóczi, who spoke about the vices of Hungarian theatrical life and mentioned that when he directed Molière's play Az úrhatnám polgár at the request of the opera in 2021, the opera's general director, Sylvester Okovač, censored the text.

Tarnucci A. said: In a conversation excerpted from, they had already been practicing the textbook that had been accepted for the reading test for two months, when someone told Ukovac, who then requested the textbook. According to the director's claim, he then received from Ukovac a copy of the text in which the proposed amendments were written in purple.

Director Alinda Weizer told that Ukovac also edited the gossip parts of Molière's play, so the word reed, which was also in the original work, could not be included, so as not to remind the audience of Mayor István Tarlos, and the diamond ring scene had to be cancelled, because Lőrinc Várkonyi Andrea Mészáros can point to his gift given.

Tarnucci pointed out that there was no intention of that, they were invited by the opera for this piece, and the basic setting of it is that suddenly there is a rich, uncultured person who starts leading everyone.

Director Jakab Tarnucci (right) – Photography: Noemi Prozak/MTI

We have contacted Szilveszter Ókovács via message to respond to Tarnóczi's claims. The director general wrote that he did not censor the script and that “we had asked Tarnucci mainly to direct, not just write any script, and Molière had already done that.” Ukovac did not say whether he had checked the textbook for the advertisement, but according to him, it is “normal and even obligatory” for them to check all the textbooks before the presentation, and as the editor-in-chief at Telex pointed out it would be a mistake if he did not read our articles.

“In the world of opera, drag is absolutely present, and the freedom of the director, conductor, choreographer, singer and dancer is also unlimited, and it is the job of the general director to maintain balance in this matter. “The artistic director consulted with the director weeks ago, and the framework was clear to him,” she said. During rehearsals, a version of the script was created that differed from the script written by the director and his collaborator during a period of joint thinking and controlled improvisation with the actors, wrote Ukovac, who said that during rehearsals, a version of the script was created that differed from the version written by the director and his collaborator.

Everyone played on their behalf after that,” the general manager said. Mészáros became Mészáros from Máté Mészáros, who played Jourdain, who “had a history as mayor, the Prime Minister was involved, and by chance Anna's name was always mistaken for Aniko, I could go on. Don't get me wrong, if another Hungarian billionaire became a target it's not… Desirable, and/or for example, an actor named Bagney “accidentally” found himself in this situation, or if someone kept shouting at Clara instead of Cleopatra, the Marquis would probably do it. She shows up and keeps making noise, I'll remove that too ” – Ukovac wrote, and after we asked about the word reed separately, he added that he would not have allowed the inclusion of a Nokia box or an eyeball in the text, because the opera is not a place for direct politics, and there is no room for jokes with the warranty expiring.

Zelviszter Ukovac, General Director of the Opera - Photo: Tamas Vasvari / MTI

Zelviszter Ukovac, General Director of the Opera – Photo: Tamas Vasvari / MTI

Ukovac feels that Tarnoczy's version was made for a single Hungarian billionaire, who would use the show as an election campaign tool, and “look at the client as stupid.”

Tarnóczi told Veiszer that Ókovács gave them a choice: either they would use the original script or there would be no presentation. According to the director, everything happened on the contrary, the director announced that they would not go to the scene.

“There came a dawn – between two letters – when I really frightened him that he would be in debt at a young age because he would not launch a hundred million productions in which an army of musicians, dancers, soloists and actors worked. We would have won the compensation suit in record time, because it is true that a play had been rewritten without permission , a performance that was explicitly opposed, could not be shown on stage, but also if the director did not approve, not even then – especially if his team had agreed to it. “The actors, whom he could have brought (!) would join her,” he wrote. Okovač, according to which the actors indicated that they were subjected to pressure through statements and accents.

In the end, the band did not perform the criticized version, which, according to Tarnoczi, was not a good and brave decision in a situation where censorship was clearly involved.

Tarnoczi claimed that after the screening Ukovac apologized to him and said that the previous events were to protect the director, but the general manager remembers differently. Ukovac said he did not apologize, just as he did not apologize for the opera inviting Tarnoczy to direct for a second time.

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