“My “Vidróczki”, composed in 1963, is what I would call a popular romantic opera. I choose this musical genre because, since Ede Poldoni’s “Farsangi lakodalma” and Dohnányi’s “A Tenor” in the early 1920s, there was a void in Hungary that I wanted to fill.

This work was intended for the Szeged Open Air Festival, which attracts nearly eight thousand spectators each year. It is obvious that such an audience differs from one listening to Beethoven’s “String Quartet in C sharp minor” in a small concert hall. To appeal to this huge audience, the show must be entertaining and the music pleasant.

The opera relates the adventures and death of Vidróczki, a kind-hearted bandit who lived in the 19th century in the Mátra Mountains. I had particular pleasure in setting to music a scene where a wedding and a funeral take place simultaneously. — Ferenc Farkas