Bluebeard's Castle

During the Muziekzomer Gelderland 2022, Antony Hermus conducted the National Youth Orchestra of The Netherlands (NJO) in the opera Bluebeard's Castle. The opera was performed five times in a sold out Melkfabriek in Arnhem. The impressive and blood-curdling performance did not go unnoticed by the Dutch newspapers:

report in De Volkskrant: "Bartóks Blauwbaard finds a beautiful dark castle in the Arnhem Milk Factory" report in Trouw: "Bluebeard's castle is a dilapidated milk factory in Arnhem"
Report in De Gelderlander: "Its gruesome appearance makes it perfect location"  
NRC review:
"Deep humanity at the opera 'Blauwbaards Burcht' in the old Milk Factory (★★★★)"
Operamagazine review: "Psychology of Bluebeard"


The Hungarian composer Béla Bartók based the story of this opera on Charles Perrault's tale with the same name. The opera exists of one act and there are only two singing characters, but the story has more dimensions than the folktale.

"Love me, ask no questions"
What does it take to to stay with somebody - and true to yourself?

In Bluebeard's Castle, Judith wants to get to know her beloved Bluebeard through and through. After all, you don't have to hide anything from your loved one. Hesitantly, Bluebeard moves along as Judith explores more and more rooms in his dark fortress. Perhaps he hopes that she can really bring some light.
But with every door that Judith opens, the distance between the lovers grows. "Love me, ask no questions", he begs again and again. "I love you", she replies each time she wants to open a new door. It's not enough for both of them. In search of light, Judith and Bluebeard descend further and further into their own cellar.


National Youth orchestra of The Netherlands
Conductor: Antony Hermus
Stage direction: Kenza Koutchoukali
Lighting design: Teus van der Stelt
Dramaturgy: Wout van Tongeren
Bluebeard: Marc Pantus (bass baritone)
Judith: Barbara Kozelj (mezzo-soprano)
Dance: Lucinda Wessels

Sung in Hungarian
Subtitles: Dutch and English


Photos: Jessie Kamp

Orchestra members

Violin 1
Niki Perdok
Lisanne Clignett
Serena Vanheuverswijn
Hanna van Hoye

Violin 2
Louisa Rocha
Roanna Tait
Ruth Mareen
Edoardo Brandi

Marina Lausin
Rodrigo de Freitas
Aina Mateu Mateu

Glòria Expósito Pérez
Pau Valls
Alfian Emir Adytia

Double bass
Nils Juijn
Floris Mijwaard

Marta Vilaca
Elise Tossens

Dario Carmona Beltran
Maxime le Minter

María González Moreno
Alba Mayorga Rodrigo
Manon Letort

Pedro Braga Gonçalves
Nuno mourão

Ana Muñoz Koniarska
Pedro Megido

Andreas Oosterkamp

Jelle Koertshuis

Jarick Bruinsma

Luuk van Raalten
Yifan Du

Marlies de Lange

Evelina Argyou

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