Wednesday 5 May 2021

Gothic Opera returns with Bluebeard's Castle

Bartok: Bluebeard's Castle - Gothic Opera

Gothic Opera, co-founders Alice Usher, Charlotte Osborn and Béatrice de Larragoïti, made its debut in 2019 with a production of Marschner's Der Vampyr, a suitably gothic starting point. The company is returning to the stage in July 2021 with a very different type of gothic tale, Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle in a multi-disciplinary production at Porchester Hall. The production will combine sound design, digital animation and dance.

The company will be working with director Julia Mintzer and choreographer Carmine de Amicis, with mezzo-soprano Alexandra Long and bass-baritone Simon Wilding, conducted by Thomas Payne. The performance will use a new chamber orchestration by Leon Haxby.

With Der Vampyr, the company took an irreverent and feminist approach, retelling a nineteenth century opera through the contemporary lens of consent and agency. With Bluebeard's Castle they are taking a similarly active approach. Leon Haxby's orchestration extracts vocal lines for three female singers from the original music, creating roles for Bluebeard's former wives and thus bringing them to the fore.

Julia Mintzer explains: “This Bluebeard is about more than two people and their relationship. It's about tearing open big questions of belief systems: what we're willing to invest in them, what it takes to keep them going, and what it takes to make us abandon them.”

Full details from the Gothic Opera website.

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