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Bartók's "Bluebeard's Castle" at the NWS.

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Tonight I went to the New World Symphony and their rendition of Bela Bartók's one act opera's "Bluebeard's Castle". I have never seen this dark work before, and was largely impressed by the moody, almost nightmarish tone of it. The orchestra was led by Michael Tilson Thomas, and the only two roles of the opera were sung by mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, as Judith and bass Eric Halfvarson as Bluebeard. The performance marked the U. S. premiere of a production directed by London-based video artist Nick Hillel, whose work was projected on screens built into New World Center. Powerful, beautiful, grand work this is. I enjoyed it a lot.

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I love "Bluebeard's Castle". I first saw it in the '70's when the Met still ran the June Festival after the main season. Seattle Opera did a wonderful production a couple of years ago, paring it with Schoenberg's "Erwartung".

I like seeing productions by film directors and video arts: they're not always completely successful as theater, but they often have fascinating sections.

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Cristian, I wanted to see that. Good cast, an opera that is not done that often, etc., but I start my extended hours tonight and didn't think I could handle a trip and then working nights for the rest of the week.

Bluebeard's Castle is a fascinating work and the more you listen to it the more you hear the details in the orchestra and how Bartok characterized each room. It is often done in concert form by orchestras, but not as often with any sets/costumes, so it is nice that New World Symphony did a "production" of it instead of just a concert reading! You are lucky to have seen it! It isn't everyday that you get to see it performed.

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Helene...BB, the production was done tastefully with huge projections than were shown all over the theater. Frank Geary's design of the New World Center has all this curved huge screens above and around the auditorium, which also is wrapped all around the orchestra, including sides and back. The two characters stood up in a platform above the orchestra. They were dressed in black, Bluebird wearing a black cape and Judith a sleek black sateen long dress, her long curly blond hair loose. The projections were beautiful, with all those huge flowers opening and dripping blood drops and the bloody clouds going all over us. More than one people screamed when the orchestra suddenly bursted to the last doors openings along with the dramatic change of lights and projections. I was REALLY impressed.

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Sounds really cool. I have seen photos of the New World Symphony's new home, and it looks quite state of the art and fabulous!

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Sounds really cool. I have seen photos of the New World Symphony's new home, and it looks quite state of the art and fabulous!

It certainly is, BB...I love going there...the place looks like a sci-fi UFO on the inside...! happy.png

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