Bluebeard’s Castle

Pyotr Tchaikovsky | Béla Bartók

Due to a soloist’s sudden illness, the performance of Iolanta & Bluebeard’s Castle on 16 February 2016 has been cancelled. You can get a full ticket refund from our box office until 16 April 2016.

For any queries, please call the Ticket Service on +48 22 69 20 208.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience.

Lyric opera in one act
Libretto: Modest Tchaikovsky after Henrik Hertz
World premiere: Petersburg, Mariinsky Theatre, 18/12/1892
Polish premiere: Warsaw, Teatr Wielki, 22/05/1896
Premiere of this production: Warsaw, Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera, 13/12/2013
In the original Russian with Polish and English surtitles

Bluebeard’s Castle
Opera in one act
Libretto: Béla Balázs
World premiere: Budapest, Magyar Királyi Operaház, 24/05/1918
Polish premiere: Warsaw, State Opera, 16/02/1963
Premiere of this production: Warsaw, Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera, 13/12/2013
In the original Hungarian with Polish and English surtitles
Co-production: Metropolitan Opera, New York

Putting Tchaikovsky’s last opera in a double bill with the only opera by Béla Bartók may seem like a risky idea. How to justify such a choice? At a first glance there is no thematic unity between Iolanta and Bluebeard’s Castle, what is more, the maudlin idiom of the Russian composer seems be completely at odds with the insightful masterpiece of the Hungarian visionary.

However, once one takes a closer look at the both operas, their juxtaposition ceases to shock. The chosen works are one-act pieces, and Iolanta bears the most experimental features out of Tchaikovsky’s entire oeuvre. Mariusz Treliński highlights the connection between the two operas even more clearly. He shows two heroines immersed in a world dominated by men — two women who share a common desire to liberate themselves from dependency.

The force of dramatic persuasion of this diptych is overwhelming. Peter Gelb, the director of the Metropolitan Opera, became perfectly aware of it during the final dress rehearsal of this staging in New York.



Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatr Wielki  Polish National Opera
Mimes and dancers


  • Mecenas Teatru Wielkiego - Opery Narodowej

  • Partners of Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera

  • Media patrons of Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera