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01 Mar 2021
05 Mar 2021
08 Mar 2021
10 Mar 2021

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney


Sung in Hungarian, with English surtitles

Running time

Approximately 60 minutes

Please note

This opera deals with themes of sexual assault

Show me all your hidden secrets.
Let me enter ev’ry doorway.

A young bride enters Bluebeard’s castle. Trembling on the threshold, she longs to warm the icy marble and let the light flood in. But the walls are wet with tears. The castle is rank with blood. Seven doors are locked before her. Unafraid, she steps into the darkness.

Bartók’s only opera is an astonishing achievement for a young composer. A large orchestra conjures up Bluebeard’s chilling castle. Dread and anticipation hang in the air as intense, anguished chords. Each door takes shape in the music.

Andrea Molino brings his immense conducting talent to this rare work. Directors Andy Morton and Priscilla Jackman will hold you breathless as Bartók’s short psychological thriller plays to its ambiguous conclusion.

Daniel Sumegi (Don Carlo, The Ring Cycle) is captivating as the treacherous Bluebeard, and Carmen Topciu (Anna Bolena) is the inquisitive Judith.

Cast & Creative

Conductor and Orchestral Arrangement
Associate Director
Lighting Designer
3 women
Chanyang Choi

Opera Australia Orchestra

white light pours through the open round door of a large safe

Cheat Sheet: Bluebeard's Castle

Everything you need to know about Bartók’s only opera.

What happens in the story? Who was the composer? What should I expect from the music? Here’s everything you need to know…

Read the cheat sheet

The Story

Judith enters Bluebeard’s castle, and wonders if the dark rumours about him are true. What happened to Bluebeard’s former wives? The castle is dark and the walls are wet. Judith vows to flood the castle with light and warmth.

She sees seven locked doors, and demands her husband open each in turn. Judith declares her love, but demands to know his secrets.

Something is not right in the castle. Everything is soaked in blood. And even the most brilliant light cannot illuminate the darkness at its heart.

As she reaches the final two doors, Bluebeard urges her to leave them shut. But she cannot resist. What is behind the seventh door? And can Judith escape the fate that awaits behind it?

Show me all your hidden secrets.
Let me enter ev’ry doorway.

Not afraid of spoilers? Read the full synopsis
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Keeping you safe at the theatre

COVID Safety at Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House and its food and beverage venues are registered as COVID Safe businesses with the NSW Government. To ensure a safe and comfortable environment for everyone, the Opera House has made some changes to the way it operates.

Read our plan

Enjoy dinner before the opera

Overture Dining at Sydney Opera House

Allow us to make your dinner reservation for you: 6pm at Overture Dining in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre. You’ll be served a themed three-course menu for just $75, including a glass of NV First Creek ‘Botanica’ Sparkling Cuvee on arrival.

See the menu