Bluebeard’s Castle

Music, Classical and opera
A man in a white tuxedo jacket duets with a woman holding him from behind
Photograph: Supplied/Prudence Upton

Time Out says

The dark and disturbing mystery of this powerful opera will leave lovers of spooky stories spellbound

Hungarian composer Béla Bartók has an incredible story. A child prodigy who was playing popular folks songs on the piano by the time he was four, that obsession stayed with him all of his eventful life. Travelling the country using one of an early recording device, he continued to hunt out old folk stories he’d turn into game-changing composition that were so far ahead of their time. He fled his homeland during WWII and wound up in New York, sadly dying there in 1945.

But he left us a real gift in his only opera, the one-act Bluebeard’s Castle, which is considered a masterpiece of the form. Opera Australia  have tasked director Andy Morton and associate director Priscilla Jackman with staging an exciting new take on the psychological thriller. Playing at the Sydney Opera House from March 1-10, this one’s for all lovers of creepy stories, pulled from the darkest recesses.

Mezzo-soprano Carmen Topciu plays a woman who leaves her family and is drawn to the shadowy castle of Bluebeard, as sung by bass-baritone Daniel Sumegi. Attempting to bring light to his palace, she uncovers seven mysterious doors and sets about opening them one-by-one. But what horror lie behind them, and what will opening them all unleash? Andrea Molino will be on conductor duties, and lighting designer John Rayment has worked dark magic in creating this nightmare-like opera’s look.

Love it? Also check out Opera Australia's encore run of Tosca.


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