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Where stage and screen meet lock and key.
In this hybrid work, director Atom Egoyan melds his award-winning film Felicia’s Journey with Hungarian composer Béla Bartók’s one-act opera Bluebeard’s Castle. Egoyan’s 1999 film starring Bob Hoskins is about a serial killer who preys on women in Birmingham, England, while Bartók’s 1918 opera tells the grisly fairy tale of Bluebeard, whose new bride Judith begins to suspect that the doors of her husband’s castle conceal gruesome secrets.
At the outset, a man watches Egoyan’s film on a laptop alone in a room, a 14-minute prologue that establishes a Hitchcockian mood, after which the audio of the films falls away and is replaced by Bartók’s unmistakably modernist score. The COC Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Johannes Debus begin to perform the one-act opera, with Kyle Ketelsen (Bluebeard) and Krisztina Szabó (Judith) singing and acting the action on-stage at the magnificent Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts—even as the moving images of Felicia’s Journey continue to project on a panel above them. Haunting connections emerge between the visual symbolism and thematic concerns of two different art forms, as they entwine in parallel around the dark nucleus of a story concerning violence and madness.
Cast & Creative Team
Bluebeard: Kyle Ketelsen
Judith: Krisztina Szabó
Conductor: Johannes Debus
Director and Stage Designer: Atom Egoyan
Lighting Designer: Michael Walton
Projection Designer: Cameron Davis
Director of Photography and Editor: Taylor Long
Stage Manager: Jenifer Kowal
Subtitles Producer: John Sharpe
With the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra