Rock Opera to Launch Margaret Island Theater Season


Barbara Bordás as Mary, Sándor György-Rózsa as Jesus.

Photo by Vera Éder / Margaret Island Theater

The Margitszigeti Színház (Margaret Island Theater) will open its 2024 season with a day-long family program on Sunday, May 19, for Pentecost (also known as Whitsun) celebrations.

During the day, a Pentecost king and queen will be chosen from among young people at what the theater promises will be “a spectacular event that will bring Pentecostal folk traditions to life with music, dance and games.”

The highlight of the day event will be the highly acclaimed Hungarian rock opera “The Gospel of Mary” on the main stage on Margaret Island.

As the title implies, the show centers on the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and motherhood. It traces events from Mary’s youth, through the birth and death of Christ on the cross, to Mary’s ascension.

“The rock opera’s message today is a portrayal of the female destiny, with all its beauty and pain. Returning to the Margaret Island open-air stage, this production has a special place in the history of Hungarian theater and culture,” the organizers say.

“It is able to show the sacrality, the greatness of divine power, the all-conquering strength of love, and at the same time human feelings, doubts, fears and the spiritual background of decisions.”

The theater describes the musical work by László Tolcsvay, Péter Müller and Péter Müller Sziámi as “a worthy counterpart to [Tim Rice and Julian Lloyd] Webber’s world-famous ‘Jesus Christ, Superstar.’”

It goes on to say of the show: “The rock-based orchestral sound, complemented by symphonic music, represents a unique Hungarian musical style, which can take the dramatic line of the rock opera genre (i.e., the story) to the heights of stage visuality.”

The cast includes Barbara Bordás as Mary, Sándor György-Rózsa as Jesus, Tamás Földes as John the Apostle and opera singer Levente Molnár in the role of Herod. The production is directed by Tamás Juronics, with scenery designed by Balázs Cziegler and costumes by Mari Benedek.

The performance will also feature the Szeged Contemporary Ballet and the orchestra and choir of the Győr National Theater.


Pentecost or Whitsun is one of the most important Christian festivals, recalling an event recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. It is held on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday and commemorates the moment the Holy Spirit filled Mary and the Apostles in Jerusalem. Some see it as the moment the Christian Church was born.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of January 26, 2024.

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