Bluebeard's Castle

Béla Bartók / Béla Balàsz

This collaboration between Muziektheater Transparant, De Filmfabriek and deFilharmonie uses light and video to create a forbidden space behind the last, locked door of Bluebeard’s castle.

The story of Bluebeard comes from an old French legend about a rich Count who kills the women he marries and hides them in his castle. The story has inspired countless writers, artists and musicians, including Maeterlinck and Paul Dukas who wrote Ariane et Barbe-bleu in 1907. This in turn inspired the Hungarian writer Béla Balàsz to create his own version of the story, and in 1911, Bartok wrote an opera based on his libretto.

It took twenty years before the work was performed, partly because it broke with all convention. There are only two characters, no chorus and hardly any action. Instead, the piece explores the characters’ inner life, a growing preoccupation in the early 20th century, and key in the works of Ibsen, Chekhov and Maeterlinck. The music, libretto and setting all reflect this - indeed, Bluebeard’s castle is not a real place but is symbolic – Bluebeard is his castle. Judith’s search is not for what lies behind the door but is for Bluebeard’s inner self, and is doomed to end fatally. 

More info >

A production of Muziektheater Transparant, deSingel, and deFilharmonie.

No dates available

Musical direction: Daniele Callegari • Video: Kurt d'Haeseleer (De Filmfabriek) • Orchestra: Antwerp Symphony Orchestra Set | Light: Peter Missotten (De Filmfabriek) • Bluebeard: Alexandru Agache • Judith: Andrea Melath • Text projections: Wies Hermans (De Filmfabriek) • Direction: Wouter Van Looy