26 July 2008

Tibor Szemző –  László Sári
cinematic opera

 “A human being does not have any roots. He or she must make a pilgrimage through the human condition.
That means Ladies and Gentlemen, that we are all guests of life.“
George Steiner


Krystina Janda – storyteller
Tibor Szemző – film, music, conductor, bassflute; László Sári – text; 
Ildi Fodor – voice, 2nd violin; Laca Kéringer – voice, 8mm-phone; Zoltán Mizsei – voice, keyboards, wind controller; Orsolya Winkler – 1st violin, gardon; Enikő Nagy – viola; György Déri – cello; Szabolcs Keresteš – keyboards, wind controller; T. Bali – electric guitar; Mihály Huszár – electric double bass; Tamás Schlanger – percussions, gardon; Gábor Pusztai – percussions

István “Taikyo” Szaladják  cinematography; Teri Losonci  film editor; Gábor Roskó  paintings of animations; Károly Kása Papp, Bálint Kolozsvári animations; László Hortobágyi, Zoltán Regenye, Károly Liszkai, Tamás Zányi
– sound engineers; György Durst, Attila Bognár film producers

Gábor Ferenczi  stage; Mari Benedek  costumes; Zoltán Regenye  sound engineer; Károly Csaba Molnár  system engineer; Attila Szirtes  lights; Anikó Rácz  production manager

Lobsang Dhamchoe – Milarepa, (Tibetan ‘Gurma-song’); Lama Lobsang Gedun (Tibetan) – Recitation from the from the Tibetan Book of the Dead; Tsering Wangyal (Tibetan) – Milarepa, 1st Lama; Divya Mani (Hindi) – Indian Schoolteacher and and Hindi Storyteller; Nikos Sergis (Ancient Greek) – Strabo; Satya Vrat Shastri (Sanskrit and Pali) – The Professor, Gautama Buddha; Tim Wilkinson (English) – A. Henry Savage Landor and the Wanderer saying farewell; Zoltán Rihmer (Latin) – Classmate from Nagyenyed; Rumpali Mukherjee (Bengali and English) – Bengali Schoolmistress and the Moon; Liz Szász British Guide; Wilhelm Droste – German man (J. W. Goethe); Djabra Ankush (Arab) – The Wanderer and the Moon; Madelaine Meran – German Lady; Jampa Dhadak (Tibetan) – 2nd Lama; AmirSaman Nikzad (Persian) – The Fairy of Wondrous Awakening and the Yearning Wanderer; Ashok Roy (Bengali) – Francis Bain; Zarrin Tadj Lotfi Shodjaian – Persian Storyteller; Tsewang Dolma (Tibetan) – Yomo; Ngawang Tenzin Gyatso (Tibetan) – 3rd Lama; Indukant Angiras (Hindi) – The Indian Master of Ceremony; Archana Tripathi (Hindi) – The Indian Lady-in-waiting; Bushan Sharma (Hindi) – The King in the Dream; Tarak Mozumdar – Bengali Storyteller; Subrata Dutta-Chaudhuri (Bengali) – Meditating Wanderer; Bandana Mukhopadhyay – Sanskrit Narrator; Caroline Bodóczky – Meditating British Lady; Wang Yue – Chinese man

Flórian Műhely, Artisjus Alapítvány, AER Central Europe, NKA

ERA New Horizons (Wroclaw), MŰPA Budapest Arts Palace


‘In the beginning of the 19th century the most curious Hungarian, Alexander Csoma de Kőrös set out for Asia to find the traces of Hungarians. What could have happened to him on the immense trip? Whatever did, the hundreds of adventures, the whale of experiences have all faded away by time.

A group of scientist-artists-wanderers recalled this peculiar trip and adventurous spirit in their own manner: Tibor Szemző passed it through, Taikyo Szaldják photographed it, Gábor Roskó made drawings of it and Mari Törőcsik / Susannah York – as the feats of Csoma are revived by the Sekler legends and by the imagination of László Sári, tibetologist – tells it.

The operatic ‘plot’ of the performance is recreated on a huge screen; the inner voice of Csoma and the magical stories about him are recalled by the music ensemble of the author (singers, musicians, a story-teller) in complete harmony with the screening.

The film version of the opera titled A Guest of Life www.csomafilm.hu premiered on Hungarian Film Week 2006 (Directors Prize for visual expression, Best Sound, Best Music) and received an honourable mention on the occasion of its international premier at the Locarno Film Festival. The Hungarian critics bestowed one of the most significant awards of the year 2006 on the film’s director and composer Tibor Szemző, as did the Mediawave 2007 festival. It has been – and continues to be – presented at numerous international film festivals, has enjoyed particular interest in India, and had its American premier in April 2007 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It was programmed on various television channels in Hungary and was published on DVD in 2008.

The performance is realised in cooperation of Palace of Arts, Budapest and the Polish ERA NEW HORIZONS 2008 International Film Festival.

Alexander Csoma de Kőrös, a poor scholar, was one of the 19th century’s great, original pioneers. In the first thirty-five years of his life he prepared himself for the task in Europe. During the next twelve years he travelled around as a pilgrim in Asia and lived a life of solitude and privation in the cold of Tibet learning from Buddhist monks… To the scholars of his century, Csoma was an obscure, Transylvanian figure, abandoned among the Himalayan hills – however, from the summits a giant cast its shadow on Central Asia.

W.W. Hunter