More Bluebeard’s Castle
In the course of researching (read: obsessing over) Bartók’s one-act opera Bluebeard’s Castle, I came across a Hungarian film adaptation of the piece on YouTube. It’s annoyingly divided into fourteen segments, but anyone familiar with the piece or interested should take a look.
Here’s the segment containing my favorite part, known to people familiar with the piece as “The Seventh Door”. It’s basically the denouement, where we find out what Bluebeard’s been trying to prevent Judit from discovering. Below is the corresponding excerpt from my own translation of the libretto, mentioned in the previous post.
BLUEBEARD See them. There are all of my late wives. See my former wives. See whom I loved. JUDIT They’re alive. They’re alive in here! (The three former wives enter through the seventh door, glorious and laden with crowns and jewels. One after the other, their faces pale, they proudly take their places opposite Bluebeard, who dips to his knees.) BLUEBEARD (With his arms outstretched as if he were dreaming.) They’re beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful flowers. They always were, and they still live. It was they who collected my many treasures. It was they who tended my garden. It was they who made my empire grow. All of it belongs to them. All of it. All of it. JUDIT (Standing among the former wives as the fourth, doubled over and afraid.) How beautiful they are. How magnificent. I am bedraggled and worn. BLUEBEARD (Stands. Whispering.) The first one I found at dawn, In the beautiful, red-smelling dawn. Every dawn belongs to her now. Hers is the fine, red robe. Hers is the silver crown. Every dawn belongs to her now. JUDIT Oh, she’s more beautiful than I. More splendid than I. (The first wife goes back.) BLUEBEARD The second one I found at noon. Speechless, flaming, golden noon. Every noon belongs to her now. Hers is the heavy robe of fire. Hers is the golden crown. Every noon belongs to her now. JUDIT Oh, she’s more beautiful than I. More splendid than I. (The second wife goes back.) BLUEBEARD The third one I found at evening. Peaceful, languid, dusky evening. Every evening belongs to her now. Hers is the brown robe of sorrow. Every evening belongs to her now. JUDIT Oh, she’s more beautiful than I. More splendid than I. (The third wife goes back. Bluebeard stops in front of Judit, and they face each other for a long time. The fourth door slowly closes.) BLUEBEARD The fourth I found at night. JUDIT Bluebeard, stop! Stop! BLUEBEARD Starlit, black night. JUDIT Stop. Stop. I’m here still!
The rest of the segments can be viewed here. I have no connection to the person who’s posted this, nor do I know if he or she has any connection to the filmmakers. Note that the segments appear in reverse order.