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.
Béla Bartók – Bluebeard’s Castle
Theatre of Sound
Daisy Evans Director and Librettist
Stephen Higgins Conductor and Orchestration
Susan Bullock*, Charlotte Hellekant^ Judith
Lester Lynch*, Michael Mayes^ Bluebeard
*23, 25 & 27 Aug
^24 & 26 Aug
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