I guess many opera goers in the English speaking world will have at least a passing acquaintance with Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle but I suspect fewer will have seen Offenbach’s take on Perreault’s rather grim tale. It will probably come as no great surprise that Offenbach’s Barbe-bleue is a somewhat tongue in cheek version of the story of the notorious serial killer.
Shortly after their marriage in 1996 Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna appeared together in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore at Opéra de Lyon. At the time she was 31 and he was 33 so pretty much ideal for the roles. The production was directed by Frank Dunlop. It’s straightforward, set in the 1920s and essentially traditional though there are a few nice touches. It’s what the recent COC production might have been if the asinine attempts to be “relevant” had been ditched.
A co-production between the COC and Opéra de Lyon has just opened in France. It’s Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with rewritten dialogues by Lebanese-Canadian-French playwright Wajdi Mouawad, who also directs. It can be watched online here. It’s geoblocked but you can use something like Tunnel Bear to watch it. There’s a very complete analysis of the production by Lydia Perovic over on her blog.