It’s the Spring Festival in Budapest, and there’s music everywhere. The events cover opera, jazz, classical, choral, dance, spoken word, Hungarian folk music, percussion and indefinable acts like Igudesman and Joo. There are three to six performances a night for two weeks. As usual with this kind of thing, there are other performances around the main events, so there is music everywhere you go. If we’d known how good the festival was, we would have planned our trip around it. Maybe we’ll get the chance to do that another year – but whether we do or not, I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in coming here. In a city of two million, it’s a manageable size. You don’t get the crowds and craziness that you get with some festivals, like SXSW in Austin.
So far we’ve heard a classical quartet in a cathedral and a performance of folk music and dancing. Maggie got a good shot of that on her phone.
We got here in the middle of the festival. This week we planned on taking in a couple of choral groups, maybe an operetta and possibly some jazz, but we got here too late and a lot of the good tickets are gone. We are still getting to see some good acts, among them The Moon Opera, which is actually a dance setting of a book about the players in a Chinese opera. Not having seen a lot of dance performances, we went in with no expectations. It was a huge surprise to us that we were captivated immediately, profoundly moved, and at the end of the performance, we were hungry for more. Sunday we have tickets for a choral presentation of the music of Béla Bartók. We can’t wait.
To me, that’s what travel is all about: we got to experience something we wouldn’t have if we had stayed home.We have some great memories – not to mention our eyes, ears and minds have been opened just a little.