Bluebeard's Castle
Opera Omaha, Omaha
by Bela Bartok
directed by Andrew Eggert, Music director Hal France
lights Allen Hahn, video design and projections Katy s Tucker,
sets & costumes Julia Noulin-Mérat
Samuel Ramey, Duke Bluebeard
Kara Shay Thomson, Judith*
By Kim Carpenter
April 20, 2013
Because the 63-piece-orchestra was 
too big to fit in the orchestra pit, 
Opera Omaha placed it on stage, 
where it becomes a literal and 
figurative foundation for Bluebeard's 

The castle itself is an innovative tri-
part achievement of set, lighting and 
video projection designs. One-
hundred-sixty black doors fit 
together like puzzle pieces to 
become the labyrinthine castle walls 
and make for the kind of dark and 
foreboding setting described in Béla 
Balázs' libretto. When enhanced with 
lighting and video projections to 
evoke the rooms Judith unlocks, the 
effect is far more sinister by leaving 
the contents up to the audience's 

Emotionally devastating, musically 
intense and visually striking, 
“Bluebeard's Castle” is the kind of 
forceful opera that doesn't come 
around very often. We're lucky that it 
came around as the production for 
Opera Omaha to close its current 
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