Why Hungary's far-right populist government is supporting the Hungarian State Opera

In New York City, the Hungarian State Opera and Ballet is in the midst of an elaborate demonstration of the country's rich cultural heritage. It's a demonstration that would not be possible without huge financial investment from Hungary's far-right government. New York Times arts reporter Michael Cooper breaks down this story.
Erika Gal as the Queen of Sheba in the Hungarian State Opera production in New York. (Attila Nagy/Hungarian State Opera)

In Manhattan, the David H. Koch Theater is at the centre of a certain kind of New York life and culture, but for the past week, the performances that have taken over its stage have come from overseas. 

The Hungarian State Opera and Ballet is currently putting on a showcase at the Koch Theater, which means 350 singers, dancers and musicians have set up camp in New York to give audiences a glimpse of Hungary's rich cultural history. A tour of this scale in the world of opera and ballet is unheard of because it's prohibitively expensive to pull off, but it was made possible because of a huge financial investment from the country's far-right government.

New York Times arts reporter Michael Cooper joins Tom Power to tell us why this ambitious event may be about more than just the culture. 

Produced by ​Frank Palmer

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