Bluebeard’s Castle & A Room of One’s Own

Béla Bartók & Outi Tarkiainen

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,” Virginia Woolf claimed in her classic work A Room of One’s Own in 1929.

Based on Woolf’s text, the essay-like A Room of One’s Own is a women’s opera about women. It explores the female role in society, questioning why women have been overshadowed by men. Judith Shakespeare, the invented sister of the famous playwright, is just as talented and hard-working as William, but she has no career prospects because of her gender.

The mystic ambiance begins in the evening’s first chamber opera. Bluebeard’s Castle is a dreamlike psychological drama, to which the Hungarian language gives added vivacity of sound.

The orchestra weaves the fabric of the thriller. Only two characters are seen onstage: the duke and the enamoured Judith, who despite being told not to, opens one locked door after another. These doors lead to the duke’s secrets, and his tormented soul.

See A Room of One’s Own synopsis here.
See Blueabeard’s Castle synopsis here.

FInnish premiere

Outi Tarkiainen is one of today’s most talked about composers in Finland. She had her international career breakthrough at the BBC Proms in London in 2018. This is her first opera, which was commissioned by Theater Hagen and had its world premiere in Hagen in May 2022.

The visiting performances in Olavinlinna are the opera’s Finnish premiere.

Our visiting opera company this summer is Theater Hagen from the Ruhr region in Germany. The theatre is located in the midst of large cities in an area with a broad opera offering. Theater Hagen stands out from the crowd with its fresh, inventive repertoire.

Theater Hagen’s visit also brings us the musical of all times, Fiddler on the Roof.


  • Conductor

    Joseph Trafton

  • Duration

    app. 2 hours 30 minutes, one interval

Bluebeard's Castle

  • Director

    Francis Hüsers

  • Stage design and costumes

    Alfred Peter

  • Lighting

    Hans-Joachim Köster

  • Videos

    Bibi Abel, Hans-Joachim Köster

  • Dramaturgy

    Rebecca Graitl

  • Theater Hagen Choir and extra choir
    Theater Hagen extras
    Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra 

  • Sung

    in Hungarian

  • Surtitles

    in Finnish and English

A Room of One’s Own

  • Libretto

    Francis Hüsers

  • Original staging

    Magdalena Fuchsberger

  • Restaging for the Savonlinna Opera Festival

    Derek Gimpel

  • Director assistant

    Mareike Teichgräber

  • Stage design and costumes

    Monika Biegler

  • Lighting

    Martin Gehrke

  • Videos

    Aron Kitzig

  • Dramaturgy

    Francis Hüsers

  • Chorus master

    Wolfgang Müller-Salow

  • Theater Hagenin chorus and extra chorus
    Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Sung

    in English

  • Surtitles

    in Finnish and English

Blueabeard's Castle cast

Dong-Won Seo
Dorottya Láng

A Room of One's Own cast

Dorothea Brandt
Mary Beton
Maria Markina
Mary Seton
Evelyn Krahe
Mary Carmichael
Marie-Pierre Roy
Judith Shakespeare
Anton Kuzenok
The Young Man
Kenneth Mattice
The Professor
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