István a király (2003 Csiksomlyó)

After the death of Géza, the Hungarian monarch, his son István and his brother Koppány gets in a conflict for the Hungarian throne. Their battle should settle the fate of Hungary: whether it adopts Christianity or remains in Paganism.

Actors: Janos Brody, Sandor D. Toth, Laszlo Domokos, Juli Fazekas
Istvan – Varga Miklos
Sarolt – Kovats Kriszta
Gizella – Fazakas Juli
Asztrik – Tarjan Pal
Terito I. – Hajdu Adam
Terito II. – Knapicus Janos
Vecellin – Molnar Zoltan
Hont – Lengyel Szabolcs
Pazmany – Schmidt Ferenc
Sur – O. Szabo Istvan

István, a király (“Stephen, the King”) is a Hungarian rock opera written by Levente Szörényi (music) and János Bródy (lyrics), based on the life of Saint Stephen of Hungary. The storyline was based on the play “Ezredforduló” (Turn of the Millennium) by Miklós Boldizsár, who co-wrote the libretto.

The opera was first staged in 1983 on an open-air stage in Budapest. This first performance was also made into a 1984 film, directed by Gábor Koltay, and its music released on an album. The musical became a smash hit and is still very popular in Hungary and among Hungarian minorities in neighboring countries.

The opera is based on actual historical events, yet treats them quite freely. In the late 10th century, Géza, ruling prince (fejedelem) of the pagan Magyar (Hungarian) people recognized that his people would not have a future if they did not found a Christian state. He invited Catholic missionaries to his lands and let his son Vajk be baptized István (Stephen) and brought up as a Catholic.

Géza planned to have István take over the country after his death, as was custom in Western hereditary monarchies. According to ancient Hungarian custom, however, the oldest male member of the family – in this case, a relative named Koppány – would have been the successor.

After Géza’s death, Koppány started an uprising against István, but lost and was killed in battle. In order to deter the pagans from further uprising, his body was quartered and the pieces exposed upon the walls of the main castles of the country.

In the year 1000 or 1001, István received a crown from the Pope. He was crowned the first king of Hungary