Magyar Posta is releasing "audible" postage stamps to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi.
The release is unusual because this is the first time that a QR code has appeared on Hungarian postage stamps. With a smart phone and the Internet information about the bicentenary on the Hungarian State Opera House's web site can be heard and read. Portraits of the composers are at the centre of the stamp designs, while graphic compositions referring to works by them (Das Rheingold and Aida) are in the background.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was a German composer, conductor, aesthete and reformer of German opera. His operas have assured his immortality as a composer, but he composed works in several other areas (incidental theatre, orchestral and chamber music, choral works, songs, arias, piano pieces, transcription and orchestration). His music is typified by the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk (a total work fusing music, the libretto and drama) and the use of leitmotifs, endless melody and sprechgesang.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813-1901) was one of the most famous 19th-century Italian composers and an outstanding figure in opera. His work diverged from the works of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, breaking away from bel canto cliches and making song serve musical drama. His influence was immense, both on the generation of fin-de-siecle Italian opera composers, directly affecting Puccini and his contemporaries, and on the development of 20th-century opera. His works still enjoy great success today worldwide and some of his themes have become much loved favorites.