Artist database

This is the Artist Database of BMC, which includes information about composers, musicians, orchestras, choirs and groups that are either Hungarian or Hungarian by origin or live in Hungary, as well as information about releases recorded with them.

Ilosfalvy Róbert

voice - tenor

Place of Birth
Date of Birth

1927 June 18 Hódmezővásárhely - 2009 January 6 Budapest

Róbert Ilosfalvy was born on June 18th, 1927 in Hódmezővásárhely. He graduated from the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, where he studied under Imre Molnár, Mrs.György Jászó and Andor Lendvai. His professional career began in 1949 while still a student when he became a member of te Choir of the Hungarian People's Army, and then one of its soloists. In 1954, he joined the Opera House, and his first lead role was Erkel's László Hunyadi. In his early years t the Opera, his slender, bright tenor voice seemed to guide him towards principally lyric solo roles. Later though, it became evident that Ilosfalvy was an artist with a highly distinctive temperament and a suggestive dramatic talent, and he began to accept parts with a more heroic character. In these, he enjoyed even greater success than before. His voice acquired body and depth, and this enabled him to give full emotional vent to these new roles. Beginning in 1966, he spent one and a half decades abroad as a permanent member of the Cologne Opera, and as a guest artist at other great theatre, including the San Francisco, Munich, Hamburg, Madrid, an Rome opera houses. In 1982, he returned to Hungary and was the soloist at the Budapest Opera House until 1988. Even after his retirement, he still made regular appearances. In 1962, Róbert Ilosfalvy was awarded the Liszt Award, in 1965, the Kossuth Prize, in 1988, he received the Merited Artist Award. Since 1992, he has been an honorary lifelong member of the Budapest Opera House.

Of the roles he sang in Hungary, among the first that deserves mention is that of Rodolfo in Puccini's La Boheme. In 1957, a production of he opera was mounted at the Erkel Theatre, conducted by János Ferencsik. Ilosfalvy also enjoyed an enormous success in his portrayal of Hoffmann, the eponymous hero of Jacques Offenbach's opera. In Verdi's Macbeth he was a significant Macduff conducted by Lamberto Gardelli. Another of Ilosfalvy's greatest successes was in the role of Des Grieux in Puccini's Manon Lescaut. The production was staged in 1961 at the Budapest Opera House, again directed by Gardelli. Rossini's opera, William Tell is rarely staged piece because of the difficult tenor part of the hero Arnold. Róbert Ilosfalvy, with Gardelli again in the orchestra pit, truly excelled with his bright, resonant and secure high notes in 1963 at the Erkel Theatre.

Before Ilosfalvy contracted in Cologne, he sang Alvaro (The Force of Desitny), Ramerrez (The Girl of teh West), Fra Diavolo, Riccaro (The Masqued Ball), Faust, Don José (Carmen), Grigory-Dimitri (Boris Godunov). He has not left the contemporary opera out of his repertoire: he played the Fugitive in the premiére of Emil Petrovics C'est la guerre in 1962.

His first role in Cologne was Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, conducted by István Kertész. The favorable reception of the production established Ilosfalvy's reputation in Germany. In Cologne he also sang Riccardo, Rodolfo, Manrico (Trubadúr), Don Carlos, Cavaradossi (Tosca), Remerrez. It was then that Ilosfalvy began to sing Wagner, and he added Lohengrin and Walther on Stolzing in the Die Meistersingers to his repertoire. He made his Munich debut as Gabrielle Adorno in Simon Boccanegra, conducted by Claudio Abbado. He also sang Henri in Puccini's Il tabarro. In this production Júlia Várady, Dietrich Fischer Dieskau and Wolfgang Sawallisch were his partners. Ilosfalvy received rave reviews at a staging of Die Meistersingers in London's Covent Garden.

In 1982, after returning Hungary, he undertook new roles, especially ones that suited the character of his voice which has developed into something weighter and more sonorous. For many, the highlight of these was Verdi's Otello. One of his last roles was as Erkel's Bánk bán.