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date: 10 December 2019

Bánffy, Count Miklóslocked

  • Ferenc Bónis

Extract

(b Kolozsvár [now Cluj-Napoca], Dec 30, 1874; d Budapest, June 6, 1950). Hungarian opera director, designer and writer. After studying law at the universities of Kolozsvár and Budapest he entered the service of the state. From 1912 to 1917 he was director of the Hungarian State Theatres (the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre), and in 1917–18 was general director of the Budapest opera house, where he undertook the renewal of the outmoded repertory and 19th-century traditions of staging. Although World War I thwarted some of his plans, he succeeded in bringing new life to the repertory by introducing works such as Salome (1912), Boris Godunov, Die Entführung and L’enfant prodigue (all 1913), Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus (1914), Franz Schmidt’s Notre Dame (1916), Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle (1918) and many ballets. Bánffy smoothed Bartók’s path to the stage, and not just as director: his set, reminiscent of naive folk art, for the ballet ...

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