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World premiere of the reduced orchestral version of Bartók's opera ‘Bluebeard's Castle’

On 14 February 2020 the world premiere of the reduced orchestral version of Béla Bartók's opera Bluebeard's Castle will take place at the Stadttheater Biel. Composer and arranger Eberhard Kloke took up the challenge to provide a practical alternative for performance, while fundamentally retaining Bartók's score.

The key is transparency.

With regards to his arrangement Eberhard Kloke also says, ‘In the foreground are technical advantages in the variable casting alternatives in terms of lighter voices, which benefits textual comprehensibility and transparency and thus also fundamentally corresponds to the musical-theatrical design.’

Bluebeard’s Castle -  a key part in liberating the language

At the time of its world premiere (24 March 1918), Bartók's opera was unusual in that most works performed in Hungary were translated, entailing a constant battle between linguistic and musical accents. Although the educated audiences tolerated the often poor translations, the effort to find better, artistic ones increased. Béla Bartók played a key part in liberating the language; with Bluebeard, he created the first work on the Hungarian stage where the singing reached the audience in uniform, flowing Hungarian.

The staging of the premiere will be done by Dieter Kaegi, the musical direction will be by Kaspar Zehnder. Eberhard Kloke has already transferred several works to reduced orchestras, including the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen, from which Götterdämmerung was premiered in May 2019.

Performance dates Biel
Fri 14 Feb 2020 7.30 pm premiere
Sun 16 Feb 2020 7.00 pm
Tue 03 Mar 2020, 7.30 pm
Fri 06 Mar 2020, 7.30 pm
Tue 24 Mar 2020, 7.30 pm
Wed 01 Apr 2020, 7.30 pm
Fri 03 Apr 2020, 7.30 pm

Performance dates Solothurn
Thu 20 Feb 2020 7.30 pm premiere
Wed 26 Feb 2020 7.30 pm
Fri 13 Mar 2020, 7.30 pm
Sa 14 Mar 2020, 7.00 pm

External performance
26 Mar 2020, 7.30 pm Casino Theater Burgdorf


Read the full score:

Bluebeard's Castle