Arts > Duke Bluebeard’s Castle/ Winterreise

15 May 2014 | by Robert Thicknesse

Duke Bluebeard’s Castle/ Winterreise


Opera Vlaanderen, Antwerp Two despairing hearts, two solitary souls … On the face of it, teaming up Schubert’s harrowing song cycle (1828) with Béla Bartók’s stark one-act opera (1918) should yield some piquant parallels, despite the wildly different aims of the two pieces. And not just aims, but means: Schubert’s sad wanderer has nothing but a piano to keep him company, while Bartók exploits one of the largest orchestras in history. One piece is a Romantic lodestone, the other the acme of Symbolism.Kornél Mundruczó is a talented Hungarian film-maker whose first opera this is, and it rounds off a very refreshing and imaginative season in Flanders. His Bluebeard is as visually inventive as you would expect – and just as you


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