Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More see below from, helpful FAQs. Erzsébet Some Frequently Asked Questions I receive a great deal of email asking about Erzsébet -- too much to answer. So here are the questions I'm asked most often: Are you related to Erzsébet? According to my grandfather, yes (shut up!). We are the among the last who claim her as our (indirect) ancestor. But we don't have proof, and the heritage is doubtful. The best I can say is that because this information was conveyed to me as a child in whispers, I believe that he believed it. Those were the 1950s, decades before it was cool to be part of a vampyre or goth scene, and it was shameful to say it aloud (he died in 1960). Perhaps there was shame being in the family at all. My parents are Zoltán (who died in 2004) and Josephine; his parents, Josef and Lidia; before him, only the name Gábor is known from written records, with a faded photograph. And then ... two hundred fifty years of ignominy swallow up our heritage. One correspondent correctly pointed out that Hungarian names are largely patriarchal, so her descendents were named Nadasdy, not Báthory. So likely, either the names were made matriarchal in honor of her -- an unlikely situation -- or our family was in fact descended from a cousin. Updated May 2006 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How old are you? I was born in 1949. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Do you have more pictures of Erzsébet? No. In fact, the main picture on my page has been reproduced for years, and at best it is a Romantic-era copy of an original miniature. The miniature, sad to say, is now missing from the Cachtice museum. I have added a portrait comparison page which reveals several different view of the Countess. And on the 2004 photos page there's a copy hanging in the Bathory Pizzeria. At this point, I have identified nearly a dozen images or copies of the original portrait. More keep turning up on the web, and it's hard to say whether these are modern copies because no provenance is given. The recent popularity of the topic has made identification even more difficult. If you want to use any of these pictures, please see my permissions page. Updated May 2006 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What's the deal with her diaries? Finally what you need to know (thanks to Mary Cade for the research): From: Gera Zósfia [] Thursday, June 04, 2009 4:34 AM Re: Diary of Erszebet Bathory I kindly inform you that National Archives of Hungary preserves several documents regarding Countess Erzsébet BÁTHORY (Elizabeth BÁTHORY) for instance personal letters, and documents of the process against her. However, most of them aren't private documents, but sources of the procedure against Countess Báthory. The archival files of the Báthory family were mainly scattered during the 17th Century -- that's the reason why we don't have a separate collection of the Báthory family, or the diary of the countess. Unfortunately, we know nothing about the location of the diary. For a long time we believed it was kept by a collector in Nagyszombat (today Trnava, Slovakia), but later turned out that it was a gossip. All the private letters survived (altogether 32) are held amongst the documents of "Archives of Nádasdy family" (Erzésbet's husband was count Ferenc NÁDASDY). We preserve also testimonies of peasant girls and servants against the countess. The language of documents are Latin and Hungarian. All documents of the investigation procedure are kept amongst the documents of "Archives of Thurzó family" (Palatine György THURZÓ carried out the investigation against Countess Báthory). Yours sincerely, Zósfia Gera Updated April 2010 I'm not certain. At least one person I know has had access to these diaries, which are reportedly in the State Archives in Budapest. As I understand it, access is allowed to scholars by navigating a bureaucracy, and only if you speak Hungarian. From what I have learned from this single contact, the diaries are difficult to read both because of the old language, the writing, the condition, and the horrific content. I would be very anxious to know more about them, and would publish them on this site if I could get my hands on them. Updated April 2003 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Where can I hear your opera? The opera has been premiered, and you'll be able to hear it soon on CD and DVD and for download. Sponsors can hear it immediately (sponsor on the home page). You can also bring Erzsébet to your own theater, and I certainly encourage that; it's a challenge that your musicians will love! The performances are very powerful and moving, and all the ambiguity of the Countess is present. I asked audience members after each show, "Did you hate her or love her?" and universally the answer has been "I loved her." Aside from sponsoring the opera (which will clear the remaining debt from the productions) via the home page, you can also support the opera by buying the published libretto or full score, both on Updated November 2011 We are on the way! Thousands of you have visited and emailed over the years. We're now less than a year away with your support -- you can pledge with as little as $2! If half the folks who emailed me since this site opened pledged $2, that would meet the goal!! Go right back to the home page to give your backing to the opera. [Former info:] You can't, at least not yet. I began this project almost 20 years ago, but producing an opera is a formidable task. It's not completely written. The libretto is stalled in outline. Neither the Slovak nor Hungarian culture ministries was interested in producing it, and the U.S. State Department (yes, they do have a big international arts support program) told me they only fund "American topics". If you are a benefactor interested in this dark and thrilling story, please contact me. In the meantime, you can listen to my maddened Csárdás, a dance not yet known in her time, but a sketch for the opera. It's also available from my home page, where you can download it and other pieces of my music. A new set of sketches, worked into the composition VoxN, was to be premiered in April 2002, but was not. I have instead begun developing this as a parallel 'virtual opera' project. New! You can listen to one scene from the opera from a recent rehearsal (Real Media Stream or Real Media Download or go here for other formats) and you can download a copy of the score (PDF). Updated May 2006 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How do I get to the castle in your photos? The castle doesn't need visitors, really. It's fragile and falling down. But the town welcomes them. Head northeast out of Bratislava or northwest out of Budapest. Travel on the motorway until Nové Mesto, and onward to Trencín. Follow the signs to the village of Cachtice, and at the foot of the hill in the center of the village is a small building -- the museum. It's just been renovated, and is now behind dramatic iron gates to the right of the town square. There's a new roadsign to the small road to the castle (hrad). Drive the paved part

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