Ariane et Barbe-Bleue

Teatro Regio, Friday 23 November 2007 - Saturday 1 December 2007


Act I

Ariadne and her nurse reach Bluebeard’s castle. A strange crowd has followed them on their journey, a crowd that doesn’t want her to enter the castle because it is said that Bluebeard has killed his five previous wives. Ariadne maintains that they are not dead, and that she is not afraid of that man who she feels loves her. Bluebeard gives her seven keys, six of which are silver and will permit her to open six rooms: the first is full of amethysts, the second sapphires, the third  pearls, the fourth  emeralds, the fifth rubies and the sixth diamonds (Ariadne is enchanted, crying “O mes clairs diamants!”). Her nurse is terrified, and doesn’t want her to continue (“after diamonds, there is fire and death”) but Ariadne goes on alone and hears the singing of the other five wives. With the gold key, she opens the forbidden door. Bluebeard enters the room and expresses his disappointment: “I thought you were stronger and wiser than your sisters; renounce knowing and I can forgive you”.  Ariadne, however, is firm in her purpose: “I will be able to forgive when I know everything”. Bluebeard tries to stop her by force, and the villagers burst into the hall to protect her, but she drives them back: “What do you want? He hasn’t hurt me”.

Act II

In a subterranean room Ariadne finds, immobile, in the dark, Bluebeard’s five wives: Ygraine, Sélysette, Mélisande, Bellangère and Alladine. She smashes a window and lets the light enter: the prisoners see the sea and trees.



Everything is ready for the five prisoners to leave the castle with Ariadne’s help. Sélysette is terrified when she hears Bluebeard’s carriage arriving, but it is the crowd, which has captured Bluebeard, that bursts in. “We have brought you the assassin”, they shout, and Bluebeard is dragged in, bound and injured. Ariadne thanks them, but tells them to leave. The women untie Bluebeard and attend to his wounds, and Ariadne approaches him to say goodbye, ready to leave, but none of the other wives agree to follow her. Ariadne departs with her nurse. “The women look at each other, then look at Bluebeard, who slowly raises his head. Silence”.