21 & 23 March 2024 (2 Performances)

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Libretto by Béla Balázs

Conductor, Lidiya Yankovskaya

Director, Joe Hill-Gibbins

Under 21s can get free opera tickets to all ENO performances at every level of the theatre, and 21-35 year olds can get discounted opera tickets. Tickets for everyone begin at £10.

Closing the 2023/24 Season, the English National Opera (ENO) presents a semi-staged concert performance of Béla Bartók’s gripping psychodrama Duke Bluebeard’s Castle on 21 and 23 March at the London Coliseum. This concert will be performed in Hungarian, the original language, with English surtitles displayed above the stage. 

The one-act opera, based on Charles Perrault’s French folk-horror, sees the Duke introducing his new wife Judith to her foreboding new home where terrible secrets hide within. This new semi-staged concert performance is the first ENO performance of the work in 15 years.

This operatic masterpiece is as taut and gripping as a thriller. Duke Bluebeard’s Castle is a powerful story that insights thought as well as suspense.

Returning to conduct the award-winning ENO Orchestra is Russian-American Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya. Yankovskaya, ‘drawing wonderfully shimmering sounds’ (The Times) from the orchestra, made her ENO debut conducting Henryk Górecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs in the 2022/23 Season. A committed advocate for operatic rarities, Slavic masterpieces and contemporary works, her strength as a visionary collaborator has guided new perspectives on staged and symphonic repertoire. Yankovskaya is the Music Director of Chicago Opera Theater.

The ‘mesmerising’ (The Times) Scottish mezzo-soprano Allison Cook sings the role of Judith. A role she has made her signature, Cook has performed it at Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Opéra de Lyon, and Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa. Cook returns to the ENO following her performance in Salome, in the title role, during the 2018/19 Season where she made her role and house debut.

With outstanding stage presence, Canadian bass John Relyea performs the role of the fearsome Bluebeard. His established international career has seen him perform at many of the world’s most celebrated opera houses around the world, including over 240 performances at the Metropolitan Opera. Relyea makes a welcome return to the ENO following his recent ‘world-class’ (The Arts Desk) performance as Wotan in 2023’s award-winning The Rhinegold. This concert is his second engagement at the ENO this season after his performance in The Magic Flute where he sings the role of Sarastro.

Directing this concert is Joe Hill-Gibbins, and Rosanna Vize is the Designer.

Duke Bluebeard’s Castle is on at the London Coliseum for 2 performances: 21 and 23 March at 19.30.

Tickets start from £10 (plus booking fee*)

*£3.75 booking fee applies to online and telephone bookings.