"A viscerally exciting Bluebeard’s Castle once again proved that in the hands of a sensitive director and an alert conductor one hardly needs a full-blown staging for this most-disturbing of operas. (...) The staging was by João Henriques who delivered an excellent account (in English) of the spoken ‘Prologue’ extremely well. His direction was simple yet subtle. Bluebeard appeared on the darkened stage-front with a trolley piled with seven suitcases. Emotional baggage? Judith followed him from darkness into semi-light. As she demanded to release the castle doors each suitcase was laid out (by him) and opened – straightforward lighting and the orchestra did the rest. Bluebeard seemed particularly keen to retain one case from the start, which turned out to be ‘Door 7’. When this was wide open the audience was bathed in a half-light … we were all part of Bluebeard’s surreptitious life".
Friday, March 13, 2015 Barbican Hall, London.
Reviewed by Alexander Campbell