Virginia Arts Festival’s Bluebeard’s Castle Captivates with Spectacular Sets and Enthralling Musical Talent

Seven towering black doors stand between the orchestra and the mysterious Bluebeard and his new wife Judith. The darkness of the set, the ominous timbre of Bartok’s score and the chilling trill of Rebecca Nash’s otherworldly soprano voice blend together to set the scene for a suspenseful, intriguing performance.

Judith is given free reign of Bluebeard’s castle, as long as she stays away from the seven doors. But of course her curiosity and growing suspicion of her new husband are too much to bear, and one by one, the contents behind Bluebeard’s seven doors are revealed—and along with them, the truth about Bluebeard.

Based on a 17th century French fairy tale, Bartok’s operatic adaptation of Bluebeard’s castle is a truly fascinating psychological journey, breathtakingly enhanced with the colorful creations of world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. Behind each door is a new secret represented by one of Chihuly’s original creations.

Multiple streams of talent come together to make Bluebeard’s Castle a spectacular display of art in its many forms. With JoAnn Falletta conducting the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the enchanting voices of soprano Rebecca Nash and bass-baritone Charles Robert Austin, and the dazzling artwork of the pioneer of the studio glass movement Dale Chihuly, the performance is a masterful blend of art not to be missed.

There are two opportunities to see this co-presentation by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Chrysler Museum of Art. Bluebeard’s Castle will be performed at Chrysler Hall on Saturday, April 18, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 19, at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at or by phone at 757-282-2822.

If this performance strikes up your interest in Chihuly’s work, there’s an additional opportunity to view more of his glass creations at the Chrysler Museum of Art. The exhibition, Chihuly in the Garden, will be hosted through June 7.

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