Edinburgh International Festival – Bluebeard’s Castle

Church Hill Theatre , Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4DR

Click here to for more information via the EIF website

In this radical retelling of one of opera’s great masterpieces, husband and wife face the reality of living with dementia while celebrating their long love and shared memories.

Groundbreaking new opera company Theatre of Sound presents a newly commissioned libretto of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, sung in English by two stellar casts performing in rotation. They’re accompanied by musicians from the Hebrides Ensemble playing a new chamber orchestration conducted by Stephen Higgins. This poignant production was awarded the Opera and Music Theatre Award at the 2023 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.

In a departure from the original folktale, director Daisy Evans reimagines the relationship between Bluebeard and Judith. Instead of ominous doors, a locked trunk sits in the living room. Judith begs for it to be opened, over and over again, and as it is, memories spill out – a wedding, a child, a family. This castle is not a dank, airless dungeon, but rather a happy home where Judith and Bluebeard have shared their most precious memories.

But now Judith is living with dementia. She slips away from Bluebeard, leaving him alone with the shreds of their life.

This Bluebeard is a love story.

“Stunningly believable and deeply touching performances”

The Times


Béla Bartók – Bluebeard’s Castle

Theatre of Sound

Daisy Evans Director and Librettist
Stephen Higgins
Conductor and Orchestration

Hebrides Ensemble

Susan Bullock*, Charlotte Hellekant^ Judith
Lester Lynch*, Michael Mayes^

*23, 25 & 27 Aug
^24 & 26 Aug

We encourage audiences to choose the most sustainable method of travel to attend our performances. For information on how to reach the Church Hill Theatre please click the link here.

To find out more about accessibility measures at the Church Hill Theatre please click the link here.

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