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During the Muziekzomer Gelderland 2022, Antony Hermus conducts the National Youth Orchestra of The Netherlands (NJO) in the opera Bluebeard's Castle. The opera will be performed with the Melkfabriek in Arnhem as scenery. Kenza Koutchoukali is stage director.

The Hungarian composer Béla Bartók based the story of this opera on Charles Perrault's tale with the same name. The opera exists of one act and there are only two singing characters, but the story has more dimensions than the folktale.

"Love me, ask no questions"
What does it take to to stay with somebody - and true to yourself?

In Bluebeard's Castle, Judith wants to get to know her beloved Bluebeard through and through. After all, you don't have to hide anything from your loved one. Hesitantly, Bluebeard moves along as Judith explores more and more rooms in his dark fortress. Perhaps he hopes that she can really bring some light.
But with every door that Judith opens, the distance between the lovers grows. "Love me, ask no questions", he begs again and again. "I love you", she replies each time she wants to open a new door. It's not enough for both of them. In search of light, Judith and Bluebeard descend further and further into their own cellar.


National Youth orchestra of The Netherlands
Conductor: Antony Hermus
Stage direction: Kenza Koutchoukali
Lighting design: Teus van der Stelt
Dramaturgy: Wout van Tongeren
Bluebeard: Marc Pantus (bass baritone)
Judith: Barbara Kozelj (mezzo-soprano)
Dance: Lucinda Wessels

Sung in Hungarian
Subtitles: Dutch and English

Béla Bartók Bluebeard's Castle


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