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Event date: 24/05/2022, 7:30 PM (1 h) Details:


Event place:

Mainstage Theatre
(145 6th Ave, New York)


„…and Echo” is a contemporary opera performance that portrays the main character, a woman’s inner stories with a unique bond of two other essential art forms, puppetry and contemporary dance performance. The creative team (Zombola – Vizin – Gergye) uses symbolism through the form of poetry. As the frame of their libretto they built two important poets’ works into the story (Hungarian Sandor Weores and Roman Ovidius) that developed a particularly unique and rich poetic language throughout the whole opera.

In a classical case of writing a new operatic piece, the libretto is written first, sometimes together with the composer, followed by the music composition and later the final orchestration. In the past this could take a long time, with certain operatic works also centuries. With the opera “…and Echo” the creative trio continued to work closely together as their usual ritual from previous collaborations, that resulted an excellent dramaturgy. The performance is based on the story of Narcissus and Echo from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Sándor Weöres’ Narcissus and Psyche. The title “…and Echo” reflects the fact that it is about the relationship between the Singer and her ideal self, her puppet, Adel, her subconscious self. Narcissism and self-sacrifice are the main themes of the performance: what are we willing to sacrifice of ourselves for talent, for love? Or would we give up love for a career? It is no coincidence that all these questions are closely aligned with the big questions of the life of the main character, Viktoria Vizin; what does it mean to be on stage? How narcissistic, or either narcissistic or self-torturous is it to be on these stages, to be physically, but even more so spiritually discarded? What does it mean to be alone on stage? Abandoned by everything, but the spotlight.

In the performance, we see the spiritual reflections of stage existence brought to life by three characters: the Singer, the narcissistic Dancer (Narcissus), who shadows the inner self of the Singer and at times he complicates the happening by reflecting the past, certain tough “me too” momentum, love triangles, loveless relationships, devil, a kind of Bluebeard or corruptor and who gives life to the doll, Adel, our story’s third character. The form of puppetry complements the storyline in this opera as Adel stares at us lifelessly until it becomes one with the living characters, moved by Narcissus (Dancer) himself. The Singer, who has a narcissistic love for her idealized image of herself, and in order to possess her past abilities, burnt out, again in the present, sells her soul to the devil, sacrifices the figure. But this comes at a price, because as a result she becomes an ethereal voice, an Echo, so to speak, transforming the stories into sound, but she can no longer live them, she remains a doll, she herself disappears in the doll.

Viktoria Vizin – mezzo-soprano
Krisztián Gergye – dancer
Adel – puppet

Composer and on piano: Péter Zombola
Puppet designer: Károly Hoffer and the Budapest Puppet Theatre Workshop
Costume design by Gergely Z. Zöldy and Ildikó Debreczeni, with the support of Jelmez-Art Kft.
Director and Choreographer: Krisztián Gergye

“…and Echo” is a mirror play: the story of an opera singer’s personal drama, which carries the weight and inevitability of Greek tragedies. The contrast between the reality of life and that of stage existence tends towards surreality. Lies and truths blend together. Just as in life, one cannot see clearly, but the performance takes place as life does. The magic of Puppet Theatre reveals a private mythology in which the reflection not only looks back, but also responds. It is also a kind of reverse Bluebeard story, in which there is only Judith, without a man, trapped in the castle.

Krisztián Gergye, dance-choreographer-director, Viktória Vizin, opera singer, and Péter Zombola, composer, worked on the idea for the production for several years. The final production combines contemporary dance, contemporary opera and contemporary puppet theatre to create a truly all-round artistic performance. The premiere was held in the Chamber Hall of the National Theatre in Miskolc as part of the Bartók Plus Opera Festival, which has always been about inspiration, support and inclusion of talented and value-creating artists, so the premiere could not have been in a more appropriate venue.


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