Bluebeard’s Castle 

Béla Bartók  

Theatre of Sound 

Groundbreaking new opera company Theatre of Sound presents a radical retelling of one of opera’s great masterpieces —Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. The 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. In this retelling, husband and wife face the reality of living with dementia while celebrating their long love and shared memories.  

Sung in English, in a newly commissioned libretto, the production features two stellar casts performing in rotation. Players from the Hebrides Ensemble perform this new chamber orchestration conducted by Stephen Higgins. 

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