The Budapest Opera House was our destination at 11:20 AM when we walked to the subway and rode 3 stops from our beginning. A lovely little metro system, the first in continental Europe (1880s). There are small and neat stations with little train cars—all clean and highly functional. Our end stop was labeled “Opera” and the house was right across the street from where we climbed up out of the ground. Sphinxes guard the doorways. All the decorations relate to music and sound. Zoltan Kodaly and Bela Bartok are the principle heroes of this musical tradition and there are busts, portraits ad statues of them all over the building.
We were taken into the Grand Foyer to begin the tour and then the local guide led us up a grand staircase to a lovely salon for a private concert by a young soprano and her accompanist. The soprano began with Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus and then launched into two completely unfamiliar Hungarian operetta arias. The pianist played
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