Csinom PalkoPopular romantic opera in 3 acts

In 1949 I was asked to write a Singspiel for the radio: Csínom Palkó.

The task didn’t exactly please me and the libretto of András Dékány rested on my piano for a long time before I decided to read it and note down in the margin where the most important melodies would come, those which later became the most popular ones: Pajtás gyere hát (Friend, come here), Jó éjszakát (Good Night) and Hűséges szívemmel (With my faithful heart).

Csínom Palkó was broadcasted for the first time on January 22nd, 1950. Its success was so resounding that I was suggested to adapt it in the form of an opera. The première took place at the Budapest Opera on 1951. — Ferenc Farkas Extract from the book by András Farkas Mon père m’a raconté…

The plot

The story takes place in 1705 during the insurrection of Ferenc Rákóczi , prince of Transylvania, against Habsburgs domination.

Two brothers, Palkó and Jankó, have heard that Ádám Balogh and his army of Kurucs are trying to liberate the fortress of Ersekújvár .

In an inn, they meet Márton Rosta and his daughter Éduska. Palkó falls madly in love with her. The four heroes, joining the Kuruc, inform them that two Imperial armies are approaching Ersekújvár. Ádám Balogh decides to attack the citadel.

The castle is taken and the two brothers are congratulated for their courage in battle. The story ends with the marriage of Palkó and Éduska.

The music of the opera was reworked in the form of suites, for orchestra or wind orchestra, lieder and choir.

Csínom Palkó has been the subject of a film (1973).