Contemporary chamber opera …and Echo, a joint creation of Péter Zombola, Viktória Vizin, and Krisztián Gergye, is going on tour in the United States.
On 11 May, the trio made their debut on the stage of the Jarvis Opera Hall in Chicago, combining contemporary dance, opera, and puppetry in a single all-arts production. The trio of dance-choreographer-director Krisztián Gergye, opera singer Viktória Vizin, and composer Péter Zombola will perform at the Hungarian Summit Festival in Florida, then on the stage of the Howard Catholic University in Washington DC, and on 24 May they will be guests at the Hungary L!ve Festival in New York.
The world premiere of the chamber opera …and Echo was held in the Chamber Hall of the Miskolc National Theatre in the summer of 2019 as part of the Bartók Plus Opera Festival. After the premiere, the production was performed by the Krisztián Gergye Company at the Kodály Festival in Kecskemét, then at the CAFé Budapest Festival in Budapest, and subsequently at the Chamber Opera Festival in Eger.
In May 2022, the chamber opera, the brainchild of the Zombola–Vizin–Gergye trio, will be performed in four venues in the United States. Viktória Vizin, the Kecskemét-born world-renowned opera singer, has lived in Chicago for twenty years and is currently a lecturer at DePaul University. This situation brought the opportunity for the company to present the one-man opera at the University of Chicago. In the recently opened Jarvis Hall, the contemporary musical composition will be performed by a string quartet comprising the students of DePaul University, accompanied by composer-pianist Péter Zombola. The members of the local quartet were delighted to join the chamber opera performance, as it is a unique and special opportunity for local students to connect with contemporary Hungarian artists.
The story of the performance is based on the story of Narcissus and Echo from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Hungarian poet-writer Sándor Weöres’ Psyché. In the chamber opera, spiritual reflections of stage existence are brought to life in the form of three characters: the singer, the dancer, and a life-size puppet. The title of …and Echo reflects and echoes the relationship between the singer and her ideal puppet self, as narcissism and self-sacrifice are the main themes of the performance: what we are willing to sacrifice of ourselves for talent and love.
The audience was treated to an all-arts production accompanied by live music, which is truly operatic in its large-scale depiction of the inner events of the protagonist’s life. In addition to the connections between the dance and the opera, the versatile trio has created a unique form of expression through the essential meeting of puppetry, poetry, contemporary classical music, and dance theatre.
Viktória Vizin, Péter Zombola, and Krisztián Gergye are all outstanding figures in their professions, and have worked together before, which is perhaps the reason for the success of …and Echo at home and abroad.
After the Chicago show, they will perform at the Hungarian Summit Festival at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. The event aims to strengthen Hungarian-American business, cultural and community ties.
On May 18, the contemporary Hungarian all-arts production will be presented in collaboration with the Distant Light Laboratory at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. On 24 May, the chamber opera will also be performed at the Hungary L!ve Festival in New York at the HERE Theater.