Bluebeard’s Castle & Erwartung

Audience Reaction


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Press

The Seattle Times

RIVETING STORIES, BEAUTIFULLY TOLD
One of the greatest productions of anything I have ever seen. ... [Original stage director Robert] Lepage brings imaginative vision to every aspect of both works. With ‘Bluebeard’s Castle’, sets, costumes, lighting, and media effects mesh perfectly with [the] marshalling of the figures on stage. The tour de force staging of ‘Erwartung’ renders it utterly convincing and absorbing. ... In both works, the actor-singers could not possibly be bettered. ... Bluebeard and Judith [are] sumptuously sung, rivetingly acted and ideally balanced in personal authority. ... The young conductor Evan Rogister elicits wondrous playing from the orchestra. ... It is a rare and precious pleasure to find authors and a director capable of exploring the human condition with such insight. ”
-Bernard Jacobson, The Seattle Times
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Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"A DOUBLE BILL OF BRILLIANT OPERA
An astonishing and revelatory night in the lyric theater. ... Utterly compelling. ... Highly effective. ... Lepage is one of the most visionary directors in the word today. ... a cinematic approach. ... Michael Levine’s décor is minimal and awesome, Robert Thompson’s lighting provocative. The world of imagination is evoked as readily as the everyday. ... First-rate singers and conductor. John Relyea’s Bluebeard is vivid. Malgorzata Walewksa has a voice of uncommon breadth and height.Susan Marie Pierson [portrays The Woman] with impressive penetration. [Maestro] Evan Rogister made the orchestra sound like another – electrifying with total attention to detail. Bartok has rarely seemed so lyrical. The orchestra was at its finest."
-R.M. Campbell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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Seattle Weekly

"STUNNING DOUBLE BILL MAKES OPERA A LIVING ART
You’re not going to see anything like this on any other stage in Seattle. The entire evening was a knockout, not just as a display of imaginative stagecraft, but because every component worked, and worked together. This is one of those productions in which opera finally seems to reach its centuries-old goal of being all-encompassing theater. … In Robert Lepage’s abstract, dreamlike, thrilling inventive production, the set practically acts as a third character. … Chairs and beds float, the moon shifts from silver to scarlet, and a nude man rolls in slow motion down to a moat at the lip of the stage. …The Seattle Symphony was ablaze on opening night, playing Bartok’s cinematic music and Schoenberg’s splashy score with a sense of absolute assurance. … John Relyea [Duke Bluebeard] and soprano Malgorzata Walewska [his bride Judith] are the sorts of performers who fill a space; Relyea’s dark, richly rumbling bass-baritone isn’t just powerful but versatile, and Walewska is fearless [as Judith] and has a presence that recalls the inner fire and attention-magnet imperiousness of another Polish diva, Ewa Podles. [In Erwartung,] Susan Marie Pierson sings/acts with a courageous directness and vividness. … By bringing Lepage’s production here, Seattle Opera is giving us a fuller, deeper realization of what opera can be. This double bill should be seen by all opera fans, and even—especially—by people who think they’re not."
-Gavin Borchert, Seattle Weekly
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Northwest Reverb

"OUTSTANDING BLUEBEARD AND ERWARTUNG
Each opera delivered a team-effort, combination punch that was a knock-out musically and visually. Overall, this daring double-bill production pushed Seattle Opera forward artistically and exposed new horizons for the company. … Speight Jenkins engaged the right mix of artists to make these two one-act masterworks intelligible and engaging for today’s audiences. … Seattle Opera featured exceptional casts for both productions. Baritone John Relyea superbly conveyed the complex personality of Bluebeard. Soprano Malgorzata Walewska was completely convincing as Judith, his new bride. [Both] used their powerful and expressive voices to reveal the vast expanse of emotions within each character. … In ‘Erwartung’, Susan Marie Pierson’s soprano voice completely matched her haunted state.; she drew the audience into her dream world with utter conviction. … Conductor Evan Rogister and the orchestra found the emotional arc of the music and gave it a perfect shape. … The three silent actors used slow-motion gestures and acrobatics to stunning effect."
-James Bash, Northwest Reverb
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Photo Credit

2009 Bluebeard’s Castle with Erwartung © Rozarii Lynch Photo