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  • Author or Editor: Emese Lengyel x
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Abstract

The research project Chapters from the History of 20 th Century Hungarian Operetta: The Operetta Art of Ákos Buttykay has as its subject the operetta art of Ákos Buttykay (1871–1935), who was unjustly disqualified from the operetta canon. The subject is highly topical and necessary since the reconstruction of the history of 20th-century Hungarian operetta has been complicated by the fact that, with the exception of a few popular and well-known operetta composers – including Pál Ábrahám (Paul Abraham), Imre Kálmán (Emmerich Kálmán) and Ferenc Lehár (Franz Lehár) – the oeuvre and biography of the composers who were instrumental in the development of the Hungarian operetta style have yet to be reviewed. This shortcoming became evident to me during my research into the history of 20th century Hungarian operetta and the reconstruction of Buttykay's career and operetta works – using archival sources and contemporary press sources – is the first step towards filling this gap. I chose Buttykay mainly on the basis of my preliminary research and findings, as a composer who had written dozens of operettas and whose name was associated with the most successful operettas of the Hungarian musical stages in the first half of the 20th century.

Open access

Abstract

In May 1928, the Andrássy Street Theatre in Budapest planned to re-stage a one-act operetta play titled The First Kiss is Mine. Its libretto was written by Jenő Heltai, and the music was composed by Albert Szirmai. The new performance started out as a resounding success. But, referring to current laws on public morality, Ministry of Interior department in charge of controlling public and cultural programmes banned the play without delay, on 18 May, and Minister of the Interior, Béla Scitovszky ordered an investigation into the matter.

People referred to the event as a scandal, and the press spoke of it as an absurdity, as the theatre enterprise was endangered by the resulting loss in income. After the ban, the actors were only allowed to perform the play for a commission sent from the Ministry of Interior, and finally, on 22 May, Scitovszky permitted the program after all, with some minor changes. In my study, I reconstruct and present the events of these few days with the help of contemporary journalistic sources (reports, interviews, etc.) – Budapesti Hírlap, Esti Kurir, Magyar Hírlap, Magyarország, Pesti Hírlap, Pesti Napló, Újság, 8 Órai Újság –, the circumstances of the prohibition, the protest and opinion of the playwrights, the position of the commission, the performance for the commission, and the background of the permission for the new performance.

Open access

Abstract

The Hungarian Playwrights' Association was founded on 7 January, 1904, with the aim of providing moral and financial protection to theatre authors and the developing Hungarian stage. In its first incarnation it lasted until March 1919, and was subsequently re-established in December 1920. Like so many associations at that time, the Association was dissolved by ministerial decree on 8 December, 1950. The legal situation of playwrights at the time, along with the lack of adequate representation of their interests, prompted the Hungarian cultural sector to protect their rights by setting up an appropriate body of self-representation, following the examples of foreign countries. The association is of great importance in the history of the self-organisation and interest representation of Hungarian artists, as it was the first such independent Hungarian representative body.

Open access