Tue / 11 / 6 / 24
19:00 – 19:50
Tabačka Kulturfabrik, Košice

language: Hungarian with Slovak and English surtitles

Before the performance (18:30), there will be a dramaturgical introduction to the theme of the production.
Public Q&A with the production team is held after the performance.

Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest, HUNGARY


directed by: Judit Böröcz, Bence György Pálinkás, Máté Szigeti

Singing Youth is the name of the sculpture unveiled in Budapest in 1953 together with the official opening of the People’s Stadium (Népstadion), in front of which it is located. The work of the Greek sculptor Makris Agamemnon, who is quite prominent in Hungary, is depicted by two girls and a boy playing the transverse flute. While the stadium was an exhibition piece of the first five-year period of Hungarian Communism, the sculpture illustrated the attempt of the totalitarian régime to misuse art for its own purposes. The Singing Youth statue still stands, though the stadium was demolished at the initiative of Viktor Orbán to give way to a new National Stadium called Puskás Arena, that was built in its place in 2019. Today, instead of celebrating the working people, the nation is celebrated. Yet the question is whether there is a difference between the Communist and Orbán propaganda. The staging team led by the author and director trio Judit Böröcz, Bence György Pálinkás and Máté Szigeti is looking for answers. Through an alluring combination of documentary theatre and choral singing, they created a production that juxtaposes the Communist building era songs from 1945 to 1953 and speeches by government politicians and the Prime Minister, as well as pro-government rock song lyrics from 2010 to 2021. The statue of the singing youth comes to life on stage in the interpretation of two actresses/singers and four actor/singers in snow white unisex workout clothes. Original music by Máté Szigeti is complemented by an unusual testimony about two historical periods, which are separated by seventy years, yet their similarity is frightening. The production that the Trafó present to high acclaim at major theatre festivals, such as Wiener Festwochen or BITEF, comes to Slovakia at a time when the issue of the abuse of art for the needs of an authoritarian régime is one of the key themes in our country today.

libreto: Judit Böröcz, Bence György Pálinkás, Máté Szigeti
direction: Judit Böröcz, Bence György Pálinkás, Máté Szigeti
choir director: Péter Fehérváry
choreography: Zsófia Tamara Vadas
light design: Balázs Szabon
music: Máté Szigeti
video: Sári Ember
documentation: László Dinea, András Szőnyi
performed by: Benjamin Bozi, Péter Fehérváry, György Juhász, Maxim Jurin, Katalin Mezei, Eszter Sokhegyi

Singing Youth is the result of the collaborative work of our team of creators and performers. Throughout the collaboration, we divided the required tasks and roles based on competency and availability, leaving room for opportunities to learn from each other. We aspired to follow feminist dramaturgical principles including transparency, avoiding self-exploitation and exploitation of each other as well as practising various forms of care.

The younger generation seems to be looking for a way to establish permanent values to counter the distortions and crimes of this world. […] Don’t even attempt to categorise the Singing Youth. Six young vocal soloists perform the same movement in a simple choreography in front of a big screen. It shows images of Budapest-based National Stadium, built in 1953 renovated in 2019 at the cost of over half a billion euros in a new chauvinistic spirit as a Hungarian sports arena. It compares quotes from Communist propaganda of the time with those from the current head of state, Viktor Orbán, creating striking analogies.

Michael Bartsch: Geschichte wiederholt sich. In, 13 November 2022.


You can read the texts on the projection. They sweetly vibrate that a good Communist must also be a good athlete. Or that the new stadium, which Hungary built entirely on its own, meets all UEFA requirements. A clear-sounding memorandum that music and sports are the tool that serves nationalist propaganda.

Ein guter Ungar singt und trägt Turnhose. In Die Presse, 3 June 2023