Bluebeard’s Castle

Bluebeard’s Castle, Bela Bartok, conducted by Georg Solti ★★★★
Bluebeard’s Castle is another piece whose music is not approachable when listened to without the visual. The music works very well with the added visuals. The visuals in this case are on the opera stage, but reality scenes. This is Bartok’s only opera, based on an early 17th-century Hungarian tale, unknown whether it was based on any historical event. The opera consists of only two singers, Bluebeard and Judith. Bluebeard introduces his new bride to his castle, a dark foreboding place. There are seven doors that Judith is forbidden to enter, though in the course of the opera, Judith has Bluebeard open each of the doors, as she learns of Bluebeard’s tyrannical past. She finally learns about Bluebeard’s other wives. I find Bartok to be a tad bit challenging to get to know, yet becomes with time a very likable composer. This piece runs about 56 minutes but is very accessible when heard with the accompanying video.