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Whatʼs On

Fun things to do in Budapest for the next two weeks.

Vivaldi, as never before

A unique concert, featuring impressive 3D visual effects alongside fantastic music virtuosity finally makes it to Hungary when the “Vivaldianno – City of Mirrors” production visits Budapest on November 13.

The show is based on baroque music, albeit mixed in with some contemporary flavoring, and tells the astonishing story of the composer Antonio Vivaldi, outlining the ambitious hopes and great losses in his life.   

The concert comes to the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna as part of a world tour that has taken in Czech Republic, Turkey and Serbia, and will move on to Israel and Germany. It is due to play at London’s Apollo Theater in March 2017. “Our goal is to offer impressive music and visual experience to our audience, bringing them the masterpieces of Antonio Vivaldi, the baroque genius, in a modern approach,” say the organizers. The current “New Generation Concert” production debuted in 2015 with sold out performances in the O2 Arena, the largest concert venue in Prague. It is the work of Czech musician Michal Dvorak as producer, and librettist Tomas Belko, as well as the excellent violin virtuoso Jaroslav Sveceny. The key visual stage effects are produced by Kosuke Sugimoto.

A special feature of the tour, making each event unique, are the local artists and acknowledged world musicians invited to join the “core” creators and performers. In Budapest, cellist Tina Guo will perform on stage. She is already well-known to the Hungarian public, as she most recently performed a concert with Hans Zimmer in the Budapest Arena. This gifted musician often takes a diversion into the world of rock, having played with bands like the Foo Fighters, as well as with stars like Al Di Meola, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana and Stevie Wonder. According to the organizers’ Facebook page, she will also be playing at upcoming concerts in Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia and in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, Russia.

For more information, and a video trailer, check out vivaldianno.cz/en or look for the Vivaldianno – City of Mirrors Facebook page.

Patron saints of food, wine and arts move into Hotel Gellért

The annual St. Martin’s Day Wine Festival at the Danubius Hotel Gellért hits a significant landmark with this year’s sixth edition, as it is also the memorial year of Saint Martin, on the 1,700th anniversary of his birth. But the four-day event, which runs from November 10-13, will feature a veritable choir of the good and the great from the heavenly host.

Alongside St. Martin (judge of new wine and patron saint of horse and goose keepers, as well as of winemakers) there will be St. Gellért, of course (patron saint of Budapest and of the hotel which bears his name), St. Wenceslas, patron saint of Czech beers, St. Lawrence, patron saint of cooks, St. Martha (maids, housewives, cooks, waiters and waitresses), St. Vincent (another patron for the winemakers, but then when you are so dependent on the weather, you need all the help you can get), St. Brigid of Kildare (matured cheese), St. Cecilia (music and musicians), and St. Lucas (the arts).

On Thursday, November 10, it is St. Wenceslas, who will take center stage. Beer specialties of the Zirc Abbey – preserving traditions of 300 years – will be introduced, along with a gourmet beer dinner. Guided by historian Csaba Katona, a beer history tour will wander through the suites of the famous hotel, where heads of state, movie stars and artists have previously stayed.

On Friday and Saturday, the festival will put the spotlight on selected premium wineries, gastro exhibitors, concerts, contemporary art exhibitions, a wine tour and what promises to be a sensational wine dinner led by Hungarian food blogger and TV cooking show host Zsófia Mautner, and featuring of some of the top restaurants of Hungary.

On both days the Hotel Gellért’s unique Suite Restaurant will also welcome guests; the luxury suit with its fantastic view of the River Danube is an excellent location for Michelin-starred chef István Pesti to introduce his Dom Perignon and black truffle compositions. And both evenings will see an after party in the world famous Gellért Bath Hall, starting at 10 p.m. on Friday with a Compact Disco show, and on Saturday with a concert by Kelemen Kabátban.

On November 13, the traditional Sunday Brunch will bring the sixth St. Martin’s Day Wine Festival to a close.

Further information: borfesztivalgellert.hu/en/