Concerto for orchestra in five movements (1944) / Opera in one act (1918)

Composer Béla Bartók · Libretto by Béla Balázs
In Hungarian with German and English surtitles | New Production

Sunday, 16. February 2020
06:00 pm

Introductory Event: 05:00 PM

Open ticket sales

Prices L , € 163 /142 /117 /91 /64 /39 /15 /11

buy tickets

Premiere at 01. February 2020


To List of Performances

Dates & Tickets

To List of Performances


Musikalische Leitung
Oksana Lyniv
Katie Mitchell
Alex Eales
Sussie Juhlin-Wallen
Grant Gee
Ellie Thompson
James Farncombe
Nikolaus Stenitzer

Herzog Blaubart
John Lundgren
Nina Stemme
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester

Cast for all dates

To List of Performances


To List of Performances

Learn more

“Judith, would you follow me still?”

In Béla Bartók’s staggering version of the legendary Bluebeard material, the eponymous Duke of the title, gives his newly-weds the opportunity to turn back three times. The gates of Duke Bluebeard’s fortress then close behind the two and Judith’s fate is sealed. Béla Balázs’s libretto compresses the dooming of a love with great poetic power. Through such power Judith will brighten and give warmth to the darkness and cold of Bluebeard’s castle, and therefore rescue Bluebeard himself from the despair that surrounds him. Because she loves him, so she says, Judith wants to know all the Duke’s secrets, and therefore also demands the keys to the locked doors of the fortress from him, one after the other. With each door Bluebeard reveals a view of a part of his castle, his empire, his personality, and everywhere there are indicators that point to something dreadful and inevitable – to the secret behind the seventh door.

Béla Bartók wrote his only opera aged thirty, still under the audible influence of contemporaries such as Claude Debussy. The music is also very close to the language here – even where language fails. Bartók composed and orchestrated the seven rooms in Bluebeard’s Castle until they were palpable.

In his Concerto for Orchestra, composed immediately after his flight from Europe to the USA as a commissioned work to provide a livelihood, more than thirty years later Bartók once again used motifs from Bluebeard’s Castle. Shortly before his death Bartók once again decisively reworked the Concerto. This last version can be enjoyed in Katie Mitchell’s production.


To List of Performances


Oksana Lyniv, geboren in Brody/Ukraine, studierte Dirigieren u. a. an der Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden. Von 2008 bis 2013 war sie stellvertretende Chefdirigentin am Akademischen Nationaltheater Odessa. Als Dirigentin leitete sie u. a. Opernaufführungen an der Estnischen Nationaloper und der Oper Bonn. Von 2013 bis 2017 war sie an der Bayerischen Staatsoper als Assistentin des Generalmusikdirektors Kirill Petrenko engagiert. Hier dirigierte sie u. a. La clemenza di Tito, Ariadne auf Naxos, Greek und Lady Macbeth von Mzensk. 2015 debütierte sie an der Kungliga Operan in Stockholm mit Der Nussknacker, es folgten weitere Debüts u. a. am Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona (Der fliegende Holländer). Seit der Spielzeit 2017/18 ist sie Chefdirigentin der Oper Graz. (Stand: 2019)

To List of Performances