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Special National Anthem for a special Grand Prix

2020. July 13. 10:41

This year’s Hungarian Grand Prix is going to be special, the first one behind closed doors, and certainly, with a special national anthem fitting the circumstances. The tunes composed by Ferenc Erkel are not played live due to the precautionary measures, enabling the sport-loving audience of the world to listen to the Hungarian national anthem sung by four artists.

The artists were accompanied by the Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok, and Soma Balázs-Piri on piano, and the musicians felt themselves at home in Turn 12 of the race track in Mogyoród, even though they got to sample the heat, which is quite usual at the Hungarian GPs. So did the magnificent artists Erika Miklósa, Andrea Rost, Levente Molnár and Ninh Duc Hoang Long. It might sound interesting that all four singers are keen on speed, fast cars and Formula 1, as it has turned out from their own words.

Andrea Rost, Kossuth- and Liszt Ferenc award winning opera singer: ‘Singing the national anthem is magnificent and uplifting, and the Formula 1 Grand Prix combines the tradition and modern world which is an awesome feeling. It is also special that we cross the frontier of the country, with ten million people watching it worldwide. Many of them do not even know where Budapest or Hungary is, but suddenly our national anthem pops in their home. I love driving, I love fast cars and speed, so I am a bit jealous for the drivers that they have the chance to drive on this beautiful race track.’

Erika Miklósa, Kossuth- and Liszt Ferenc award winning opera singer: “No matter how experienced someone might be, singing the national anthem is always an intense feeling, certainly in a positive sense. I always rehearse a lot for it, especially that we mostly sing it live, but this time will be different, as we had to record it earlier. I remember very well, when I sang the national anthem live some years ago. I will never forget that I was waiting for my turn on the grid wearing an off-white dress and high-heel sandals, when suddenly someone jumped over the pit wall and almost fell over me. He freaked me out, however he immediately said sorry. It turned out later that he was Lewis Hamilton, who was in a hurry. The national anthem itself was also memorable, the crowd were holding their breath and eagerly waiting for the start. Later I got many messages that they saw me on TV and congratulated me for the performance.’

Levente Molnár, Liszt Ferenc award winning opera singer: ‘It is a great honour to sing the national anthem, but also a big responsibility, if someone takes it seriously and does it with great passion. I have already sung the national anthem before the Hungarian Grand Prix, and I remember that standing in the finish straight I felt that Hungary is huge and beautiful, and it was a great feeling to be part of the travelling F1 “family”, even for a short period of time. I follow the World Championship, and because I was a Schumacher fan at his time, now I root for Hamilton not to break all of his records yet. Vettel is my favourite from the present field because of his great mentality, and he has the talent too, things simply did not go his way recently, that’s all.’

Ninh Duc Hoang Long Vietnamese opera singer, winner of Virtuosos: ‘I have sung the Hungarian national anthem twice until now, once in Tokyo and once in London, so it will be the first time in Hungary. I am very proud of it, and not only because the Hungarian national anthem is beautiful, but because I love Formula 1, in fact, I’m dreaming of driving such a car once in my lifetime. My favourite driver is Lewis Hamilton, because he is very talented and success oriented.’ 

Gábor Hollerung, Liszt Ferenc award winning managing director of Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok: ‘We are a 100-member orchestra, and we have been working together under my guidance for 30 years in a good mood, valuing each other. We are the only classical, symphonic orchestra that can fill Papp László Sport Arena. On the occasion of the 35th anniversary, we had 35 musicians in Turn 12, and I have to tell you, Formula 1 has its own magic even among us, musicians. We are very proud that we can be part of the national anthem at the 35th Hungarian Grand Prix, and this will certainly be a nice thing for our musicians to tell their grandchildren.’

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