LONDON, 22 April 2021: Gothic Opera, the unconventional London opera company that launched with Der Vampyr in 2019, will return to the stage this July with a multi-disciplinary production of Bluebeard’s Castle. Gothic Opera is committed to opening opera up to new audiences, and this production will be a feast for the senses, featuring evocative sound design, digital animation and dance, all combining to welcome people back to the thrill of live performance.
Gothic Opera co-founders Alice Usher, Charlotte Osborn and Béatrice de Larragoïti will be working with stage director Julia Mintzer and celebrated choreographer Carmine de Amicis to create this unique version of Bluebeard’s Castle. This production is a collaboration with Ravensbourne University, whose students created digital animations during the pandemic which will be seen in the live performances. The team will be joined by musical director Thomas Payne, a former Royal Opera House Young Artist, who will conduct a new chamber orchestration of the opera created by composer Leon Haxby. The cast includes mezzo-soprano Alexandra Long and bass-baritone Simon Wilding, who is well-known for his performances at the Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera and other major opera houses.
The opera Bluebeard’s Castle was composed around one hundred years ago by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók [pictured]. Bluebeard’s newest young wife arrives into his mysterious castle, and one by one, as each locked door is opened, she sees the horrors that are revealed and learns more about her new husband’s past. Gothic Opera’s version of the opera, freshly put together by the creative team in a way that responds to the post-pandemic zeitgeist, will turn the traditional Bluebeard story inside out. The new orchestration brings the former wives of Bluebeard to the fore by extracting vocal lines for three female singers from the original music. 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.”
At one-hour’s duration, it is a distilled and intense psychological tale, which explores perspective, sense of self and our innermost secrets. Taking place over three nights in the splendid location of Porchester Hall in London, with a cast of passionate and dedicated musicians, this production is set to challenge pandemic-weary audiences to experience something totally new this July.
Bluebeard’s Castle performance details:
Porchester Hall, London
Thursday 8th July, 8pm
Friday 9th July, 8pm
Saturday 10th July, 8pm
Sung in Hungarian with English surtitles.
Tickets cost £20 (full price) and £15 (concessions) plus booking fee and are available at www.gothicopera.co.uk.