The (Hi)story of the cave theatre
Ernő Dohnányi (1877-1960), honoured composer, conductor, piano player and professor was the first to recognize how excellently this venue would host outdoor cultural events at. The baritone singer Ferenc Kóh explored the quarry for himself in 1937. Along with his friends he held here several music events. He also experienced performers should be standing backing the cave hall, whilst the audience in a semicircle, on the brae opposing the cave hall. "Fairy night" opened on Sunday June 27 1937. At torch light and colourful reflectors, with a black background and the starry sky above them, parts from different operas sounded in the Quarry. Organizers recruited the immense number of background actors and actresses from among the locals. 1500 spectators were applauding the other half of the village. Spectators from Sopron arrived to the performance by bus. Tickets cost 50 Fillers, from which money both the composer and soloists from Budapest were also paid.
With the open-air theatre generally weather meant the greatest risk for the performance. Therefore, a plan was set up to use the excavated quarry rooms as theatre halls. Founder of the Cave Theatre with 743 seats was György Várady, the former director of Győr Kisfaludy Theatre. The first performance at the theatre hall with excellent acoustics took place on June 27, 1970. 1985 an extensive reconstruction was conducted. At that time new stage light system was installed, arena seating was equipped with floor heating and comfortable chairs.
Supported by the EU the quarry recently was successfully developed into a modern and adventurous visitors’ centre and a theatre meeting all requirements.
The theatre hall has an arena seating welcoming 760 spectators at the same time, heated seats, an extended stage area equipped with modern theatre light and sound technology, both covert and overt service units available.
The renovated Fertőrákos Cave Theatre, has been welcoming/expecting visitors and spectators through the whole year since June 19 2015 with refreshing changes in its programme.