Béla Bartók's sole opera starts with a prose prologue, which the score calls for a character designated as the “Minstrel” to narrate. This is unquestionably an interesting artistic decision to have a character outside the storyline of Judith and Bluebeard recite directly to the audience, without musical accompaniment, five stanzas of philosophical bardic poetry, which has the effect of foreshadowing and establishing both the message and the atmosphere of the work. Many productions omit the prologue, even though it constitutes an integral part of the opera.
Iván Madarász's fifth opera, commissioned by the Hungarian State Opera, uses the text of Béla Balázs's unique introduction as its basis. On the second night of the Bluebeard100 programme series, Viktor Nagy's 1993 production of Bluebeard's Castle will be prefaced with the world premiere of the Kossuth Prize- and Ferenc Erkel Award-winning composer's newest work.
Featuring the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra.
In observance of Trianon Memorial Day, the performance will start with a brief commemoration.