PINTÉR, BÉLA - PARASZTOPERA
(2002. Opera paraphrase in one act. Music: Benedek Darvas. Characters: 5 man, 4 women)
The Peasant Opera is based on a well-known literary motive: the prodigal son returning home after many years is not recognized by his parents, and is killed by them for his money. The play starts with a seemingly idyllic scene: the family is preparing for Roland Balog’s wedding. Roland is marrying the daughter of the protestant priest, who is already several months pregnant. The wedding, however, turns into scandal when the priest’s wife decides that she cannot carry her secret anymore, namely that the father of her daughter is not the priest but a mysterious stranger, who was passing by several years ago. The train station chief adds that the “kóboj” in question was no other than Imre Balog, the first son of the Balogs. He even shows the passport and picture that he had accidentally stolen instead of the cowboy’s wallet. It takes Roland a good amount of time to understand that his brother had undergone plastic surgery on his face, which is why they did not recognize him. This is the moment when the parents realize the horrendous deed they had committed many years ago. The last scene shows how the murder happened, the Balogs killed the wealthy stranger, their firstborn son. The most unique element of the Peasant Opera is the music composed by Benedek Darvas, mixing the music Hungarian string folk ensemble with the Baroque operatic tradition.
Béla PINTÉR (1970-) Actor, director, playwright. He started his career in 1987 within Arvisura, working in numerous independent theatres and dance theatre companies. In 1998 he founded his own company in the Szkéné Theatre, which still works as Béla Pintér and Company, having received several prizes home and abroad. The strongest characteristics of his works are the mixture of time layers, tragedy and comedy, reality and dream, authentic and kitch, a sharp social criticism and a predominance of music. He sees his plays as theatre scripts, writing them with the specific member of his troupe in mind, while the text is only finalized during the rehearsals.