Full stage repertoire

BartókA Kékszalállú herceg váraJudit
BelliniNormaAdalgisa
BerioLa Vera StoriaAda
BerliosLa damnation de FaustMarguerite
BerliozLes TroyensCassandre
BizetCarmen Carmen
BizetCarmenMercedes
CileaAdriana LecouvreurPrincipessa de Bouillon
DonizettiMaria StuardaElisabeth
DonizettiAnna BolenaJane Seymour
DonizettiLa FavoritaLeonora
DvořákRusalkaThe Foreign Princess
DvořákRusalkaJežibaba
DvořákDmitryMarfa
de FallaLa vida breveAbuela
ErkelBánk BánGertrudis
GiordanoAndrea ChénierMadelon
JanáčekJenufaKostelnicka
JanáčekKatia KabanovaKabanicha
MascagniCavalleria RusticanaSantuzza
MascagniCavalleria RusticanaLola
MascagniCavalleria RusticanaMamma Lucia
MonteverdiOrfeo ed EuridiceOrfeo
MonteverdiIl ritorno di UlissePenelope
MozartLe nozze di FigaroCherubino
MozartDie ZauberflöteThe second lady
MussorgskyBoris GodunovFjodor
NeuwirthBählamms FestMrs. Carnis
OffenbachLes contes d’HoffmannGiulietta
PonchielliLa GiocondaLaura
PoulencDialogues des CarmélitesMadame de Croissy
ProkofievThe Fiery AngelRenata
PucciniMadama ButterflySuzuki
PucciniIl tabarroFrugola 
PucciniSuor AngelicaZia Principessa
PucciniManon LescautCantante
RossiniIl Turco in ItaliaZaida
RossiniIl barbiere di SivigliaRosina
Saint-SaënsSamson et DalilaDalila
SchrekerDer ferne KlangThe old lady
SpontiniLa VestaleLa Grande Vestale
StravinskyOedipus RexIocaste
StraussDer RosenkavalierAnnina
StraussAriadne auf NaxosComposer
StraussSalomeHerodias
StraussElektraKlytämnestra
StraussDie Frau ohne SchattenAmme
ThomasHamletGertrudis
TchaikovskyThe Queen of SpadesThe old Countess
TchaikovskyThe Queen of SpadesPolina
TchaikovskyEugene OneginNana
VerdiIl TrovatoreAzucena
VerdiDon CarloEboli
VerdiNabuccoFenena
VerdiLa forza del destinoPreziosilla
VerdiRigolettoMaddalena
VerdiLa TraviataFlora
VerdiAidaAmneris
VerdiFalstaffMrs. Quickly
VerdiUn ballo in MascheraUlrica
VermeerschHelioglabalJulia Maesa
WagnerDas RheingoldFricka
WagnerDie WalküreFricka
WagnerGotterdämmerungWaltraute
WagnerParsifalKundry
WagnerLohengrinOrtrud
WagnerTristan und IsoldeBrangäne
WagnerDer fliegende HolländerMary
WagnerTannhäuserVenus
WeillDie DreigroschenoperJenny

Biography

Hungarian-born Livia Budai has emerged as one of the world’s leading mezzosopranos.

After her graduation from Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and successes at numerous international singing competitions, for four years she was a soloist of the Hungarian State Opera. In 1977 she joined the Gelsenkirchen Theatre ensemble, and in the same year she made her critically acclaimed debut as Azucena at the Covent Garden (with Carlo Bergonzi). The following year she presented herself to the American audience as Eboli in San Francisco.

Her varied repertoire already in the first decade of her international career extended from Orfeo (Palermo) and Penelope (Gelsenkirchen) or Donizettian roles such as Leonora (Gelsenkirchen) Elisabeth in Maria Stuarda (Madrid 1980, alongside Montserrat Caballé) and Jane in Anna Bolena (San Francisco 1985, with Joan Sutherland), through Carmen (Gelsenkirchen 1979, Berlin 1982 with Vladimir Atlantov, Monte Carlo, Budapest, Arena de Nimes 1990 and in Marseille 1989) and Laura in Gioconda (Berlin 1981 – 1986 with Plácido Domingo, Barcelona 1983, Bonn 1988, Arena di Verona 1988) up to wide selection of dramatic Verdian and Wagnerian roles. She was highly acclaimed as Eboli (Gelsenkirchen 1977, Vienna 1988, Barcelona 1981, Hamburg, Brussels 1979, San Francisco, Savonlinna. München, Copenhagen, Antwerp 1985, London 1983 (original French version), Budapest 1986, Köln, Paris, Kassel, Mannheim (with Nucci and Kabaivanska), Amneris (Berlin, München 1981 with Domingo, Antwerp 1985, Toronto 1986, Nice 1987, Arena di Verona 1988, Bonn 1989, Budapest 1990, Hamburg 1993-1995, Essen, Marseille, West Palm Beach, San Francisco) or Azucena (London, Hamburg, Berlin, Toronto (‘84), Detroit 1986, Metropolitan Opera New York in 1987 (with Pavarotti and Sutherland), Venice, Brussels 1987, Budapest 1988-1999, New Jersey State Opera, 1988, Michigan Sate Opera 1988, Essen 1991).

Her other appearances in Verdian repertoire included Preziosilla in Berlin (1984) and Bologna (1989), Fenena in Orange (1989), Ulrica in München (1982), Edmonton (1990) Brussels (1992, 1995) and Luzern (2004), Mrs. Quickly (Brussels 1987) and Maddalena (Florence).

Lívia Budai’s Wagnerian roles include Fricka (Torino 1987 and 1988, Brussels 1991, Frankfurt 1992 and 1994), Venus (Berlin, Hamburg 1990-1996, Nagoya and Tokyo 1996, Palermo 1998), Ortrud (Brussels 1990, Düsseldorf 1998) Brangäne (Stuttgart 1985, Brussels 1987), Kundry (Brussels 1989) Mary (Geneve 1980) and Waltraute (Brussels 1991).

In 1984 she debuted as Dalila in Antwerpen – a role she later performed in West Palm Beach (1984), Liege (1986) and Bonn (1990). Her appearances on the international stages included also roles such as Principessa de Bouillon (Montréal 1990) Cassandre (Marseille 1989), Abuela in La vida breve (Brussels 1998), Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Florence (1982), Frugola in Il Tabarro in Brussels (1995, 1998), Zaida in Brussels and Paris (1990), Schreker’s Old Lady in Der Ferne Klang (Brussels 1988, Strasbourg) Bartók’s Judit in Bologna, Rome and Paris or Berio’s Ada at the Grand Opéra de Paris, success of which resulted in her performances of the opera in Florence and in concert in Amsterdam’s Holland Music Festival in 1986.

From the 1990s, Lívia Budai gradually extended her repertoire to the operas of Richard Strauss. She sang Nanetta in Brussels (1990) Klytämnestra in Antwerpen (1992), Frankfurt (1994), Hamburg (1995) and Dortmund (1996 – 2000), Herodias in Brussels (1995) and Antwerpen (2005), and Amme (Helsinki 2007). In the same period her interest turned to equally dramatic music of Slavic composers such as Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček. Her more important appearances in this repertoire include Marfa in Dvořák’s Dimitry in München (1992), Ježibaba in Brussels (2007), Iocaste in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex in Brussels (1990) and Kabanicha in Brussels (2001), Luzern (2002) and Helsinki (2004). She also took part in the world premiere of Vermeersh’s Helioglabal in Ruhr (2003) as Julia Maesa and performed the role of Mrs. Carnis in Neuwirth’s Bählamms Fest (Luzern 2002).

Her more recent stage engagements include The Countess in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades in Budapest (2003), Helsinki (2005) and Frankfurt (2010), The Nanny in Onegin (Brussels 2010), Mamma Lucia in Amsterdam (2007) as well as Madelon (2008), Gertrudis (2010), Mrs. Quickly (2013) and Madame de Croissy (2016) in Budapest.

Lívia Budai’s first solo record of Italian arias was released in June 1989 under Hungaroton label. CBS La Gioconda with Marton, Lamberti, Milnes and Ramey, conducted Patane was released in November 1989. Her other recordings include: Carmen with Rico Saccani, Mahler’s Symphony No.8 with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and E.Inbal (Denon label), Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana Munich Radio Orchestra L.Gardelli (Eurodisc), Charpentier’s Te Deum with Budapest Symphony Orchestra (Hungaroton), Vivaldi: Stabat Mater with Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra (Hungaroton), Schumann Lieder op 69/91 and Mendelssohn Motetter op 39. (Hungaroton), Schumann: Requiem fur Mignon with Budapest Symphony Orchestra, (Hungaroton), Dittersdorf: Ester with Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra (Hungaroton), Collection of Bartfa with Camerata Hungarica (Hungaroton).

She appeared in television broadcasts of stage operas such as Don Carlo (1981), Il Trovatore (1984), Tristan and Isolde (1985) in Belgium (BRTV0), Der fliegende Holländer from Geneve (1980), Rusalka from Marseille (FR-3 1982), Don Carlo from Savonlinna (1982), Falstaff from Aix-en-Provence (1989), Nabucco from Orange (FR-3 1989), The Queen of Spades (2003), Falstaff (2013) and Dialogues des Carmélites (2016) from Budapest. She also made numerous appearances in the European TV and music press.

Lívia Budai qualities are not limited to her rich and beautiful voice; she has been critically acclaimed for bringing a great vitality to all her characters as well.

She is equally comfortable in a concert setting, having performed in numerous major centers in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Budapest, Brussels, Montreal, Toronto and Vienna.