Ferenc Erkel had been planning to write an opera about the founding of the state as far back as 1846. The opera King Stephen, which was composed for the opening of the Budapest Opera House, was performed on March 14 1885, half a year after the opening. The libretto of the 4-part opera was written by Antal Váradi, based on the tragedy by Lajos Dobsa, entitled “King Stephen the first”. Following the death of Erkel, the opera was revised by his sons, and extended by 14 songs. This was then performed on May 2 1896 in front of a number of royal and noble dignitaries.