Bluebeard's Castle

"Duke Bluebeard's Castle is frighteningly beautiful.
In the space of an hour you are mercilessly plunged into the dark sides of the psyche.
It cannot be proven, but it is probable that the confrontation with the machinations which can make a hell of the relationships between men and women was not at all to Bartok's liking."

Bente-Helene van Lambalgen



Bluebeard Peter Michailov
Judith Klara Uleman
Narrator Wivineke van Groningen
Bluebeard's women Heleen Heintjes, Lotte Hirdes, Wivineke van Groningen
musical director Jan van Maanen
director Corina van Eijk
art director Jolanda Lanslots
costume design Heleen Heintjes
make-up artist Saskia Ellemeet
gaffer Tinus Holthuis
d.o.p. Tinus Holthuis, Jef Grosfeld, Allard van de Werff
editor Marina Bodbijl
image processing Stereomatrix
producers Bob Klaassen


'The use of film is reminiscent of what Peter Greenaway did for the Nederlandse Opera in Rosa (1994) and Writing to Vermeer (1999). But van Eijk is no Greenwaway clone; she has her own inventive approach. (...)The normal merriment and sexual abandon are perfectly combined with a serious dramaturgy, a pronounced interpretation and a greater scenic complexity than is usual. This creates expectations for next year.'

NRC Handelsblad, July 2000

'In Spanga Bluebeard's Castle is hollowed out to a chamber piece about sex and its final aim, as a sort of biological/psychological fable in a cold decor with a lot of erotic blood, outstandingly sung (enhanced but natural) and acted by baritone Peter Michailov and mezzo-soprano Klara Uleman.'

Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, July 2000

'The sometimes spectacular and sometimes bloody film images fit like the keys to Bluebeard's doors. They intensified the opera, never upset the balance and provided the proof that smallness of scale and spectacle can indeed go hand in hand.'

Leeuwarder Courant, July 2000

'Despite all reservations, Corina van Eijk's approach commands respect. She is daring. In a consistent manner she develops her vision of this marital drama. In addition the design is original and well executed. What goes on behind Bluebeard's seven doors has been captured in flashing film images. (...) Stage reality and film fiction are cleverly blended, aided certainly by effective montage.'

De Volkskrant, July 2000

'Musically this production also differs from Bartok's instructions. The solution is a big organ, the result more than satisfactory.'

Algemeen Dagblad, July 2000

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