It’s a tough start. Füge (“Fig”), my shelter dog, has a sensitive ear and hears the alarm clock earlier than I do, giving him time to perform a Tsukahara double pike on me. From that moment, it’s the dog that tells me what to do. Next up is coffee and a walk.
None. Or whatever I’m working with or on at the time. But if I’m in a bad mood, I listen to Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin with the volume turned up really high on the record player. Or I listen to another all-time favourite of mine, Variations on a Hungarian folk song, The Peacock by Kodály. And Péterfy Bori.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Márquez. For me, reading and listening to music are part of my work so I do both every day.
I’m fortunate enough to have seen three-quarters of the world. I want to travel everywhere and see everything. I just love being elsewhere. Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand are perhaps my favourite spots. People smile at you there. They have a different approach to life. That’s probably why things work well in those countries.
When I’m abroad, I eat out. You can learn a lot. For instance, once in Malaysia I had some meat soup with a surprising taste. It turned out that this special taste came from the addition of a little cinnamon. When I’m in Hungary, I prefer to cook.
The Internet, but I still read the papers, especially when I’m on the road. I’ve managed to wean myself off reading the daily papers though.
It’s funny how the newsagent looks at me when I buy Magyar Narancs and Heti Válasz [Hungarian magazines representing opposed political views] at the same time. I don’t read magazines, except for TimeOut, which I always buy when I’m abroad.
A coat I bought in Chiang Mai.
Because of the theatre, I see a lot of different clothes, which has changed my attitude to various items of clothing. However, I’d probably never again want to wear the classics of my grammar school years: “Nylon” or “Neva” branded white shirts.
I had wonderful professors at the university who taught me that it’s easier to work if you engage in dialogue. I’ve just had a wonderful discussion with Erzsi Túri and György Bátonyi about our next project and this gave such impetus to the three of us that work has become a real pleasure.
I have two very different favourites: the Disney musical Beauty and the Beast, which I directed at the Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre, and Bernarda Alba (which is more of a contemporary opera than a musical) by Michael John LaChiusa, which I directed at the Palace of Arts.
Tim Burton, József Ruszt, Zoltán Imre, Viveca Abrahams and Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Oh, a lot of people. Some of them I already mentioned as people I’d love to have coffee with. But there’s also Visconti, Fellini, DV8, Pina Bausch and lots and lots of others. I could add hundreds of names a day to this list, I guess. Last but not least, Dóra Uhrik, who taught me that if I don’t expect gratitude, I can be one of the happiest people on Earth. (And I’ve become the happiest person on Earth.)
They should love life. It seems that we only live once and there is no second chance, so it’s worth making sure that we enjoy it while it lasts.
Sure. Fragments, broken pieces, drafts and a bunch of paper slips. I collect them and I’ll probably finish them one day, but it’s also possible that I never will.