Produced by 33 1/3 Collective
Concept, musical direction and soundscape by Michael de Roo
Video by Douwe Dijkstra, Coen Huisman and Jules van Hulst
Dramaturgy by Peter te Nuylf
Musical arrangements by Mete Erker and Martin Fondse
Singing performed by Ilse van de Kasteelen
Voice-over by Kevin Walton.
In the Collective’s version of Bluebeard, the basics of the opera’s classic theatrical setup are shifted. For instance, Bluebeard’s male protagonist is not illustrated by a performing actor, but has been turned into a virtual presence. Judith, the female protagonist, another virtual figure, leads the audience through seven doorways, making it appear that what is happening is going on behind closed doors. As a result, the audience feels as if they are inside the chambers, witnessing and undergoing Judith’s destiny. With the use of three large projectors, virtual, multilayered, and mysterious spaces are visualized—spaces designed to change and shift as the story unfolds. All of these images are combined and simultaneously projected onto the floor and onto the geometrical environment of a large pivoting cube.
With a score that was created by nine musicians and one female singer, Bluebeard’s music and sound scape are pre-recorded and do not feature any live music. The artists improvise around and expand upon a traditional folk story with the visual themes of the Collective folded within. In the story of Bluebeard, it is said that the seven locked rooms, pivotal to the opera, mirrored the workings of the Duke’s - and therefore mirrored man’s psyche. The relentless quest of Judith, the female and also virtual protagonist of Bluebeard, to enter these rooms, whatever the outcome, represents women’s pursuit of truth and their desire to understand the workings of men, hopefully to their advantage.
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