2.8.07

Video: BANK BAN

BANK BAN is an Hungarian opera composed by Ferenc Erkel. It is a tale of love, fidelity and infidelity, treachery, struggle against oppression and high human aspirations.

Plot: Hungary in the year 1213. King Andrew II is off fighting foreign wars, leaving behind his beloved Queen Gertrud. While off traveling through the countryside to ascertain the condition and needs of the people, Bánk - viceory of Hungary- has left his adored wife Melinda in the care of the court as a lady-in-waiting to the queen. When Bánk is back to palace, he discovering widespread famine and oppression, the honorable and faithful Melinda is finding herself at the mercy of Gertrud's younger brother, Prince Otto of Meran. His pursuit of Melinda is encouraged by Queen Gertrud. In the throne-room Bánk calls the Queen to account for plunging the country into poverty and for the honour of his betrayed wife. When Gertrude counters him with contemptuous scorn and draws a dagger, he wrests the dagger from her hand and stabs her to death.

Watch a highlight of the strong final scene of act 2 between the Queen (Eva Marton) and Bank Ban (Atilla Kiss) from the film BANK BAN (2002) an Hungarian production of the opera by Ksab Kael.



Queen Gertrud:
You come like a thief in the night ans so furtively.
Is that proper?
You put me and my position to shame.

Is that honorable?
You break your sacred oath, my lord, and attack me when my husband,
fighting far away, cannot protect me.
Is this honorable?

You, a Magyar knight, abuse a lady.

Is that proper?

Abandoning your wife's name to ugly rumour.
Is this honorable?
Leaving your great mission, you assault me with such mas charges,
making my throne the object of mockery among the people .
Is this honorable?
You are obliged to protect me. Have you done this?
You cause terrible scandal.
Tremble, my lord, tremble!
I'll push you down so deep, you'll never rise.
Remember that!

Bank Ban:
My king is fighting but revelry is the rule at home.
Is that proper?
While I am away, my house is ruined.
Is that honorable?
Melinda has come to your court, chaste and with clear brow.
What has driven my wife crazy?
Answer!
Is that honorable?
You have buried my honour.
Is that proper?
I have nothing left except my shame.
Is that honorable?
Say not a word, it would be useless.
No one shall enter here,
for now I am your king,
Bank, the viceroy!
That is proper!


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