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Performance: Ariane and Bluebeard

The opera will be performed by TableTopOpera based on the libretto written by Maurice Maeterlinck with the original score by Paul Dukas.  The comic book images displayed for the opera are by award winning artist P. Craig Russell. The performance will be conducted by Mark Watters.

At a time when operatic productions are becoming increasingly expensive and when they are failing to attract younger audiences, TableTopOpera’s presentations of Pelléas and Mélisande (2012) and Salomé (2014) were a very cost-effective way to present great operas to the Rochester community while, at the same time, engaging with important social and aesthetic issues.  Building on that experience, TableTopOpera will present Ariane and Bluebeard (Ariane et Barbe-Bleue) at the University of Rochester in September, 2018. 

 In this version, the heroine Ariane refuses to be controlled by the incomprehensible rules and prohibitions of the patriarchal Bluebeard, and she is determined to find and free the missing wives who are not dead but held in a tomb-like prison.  Maeterlinck’s Ariane and Bluebeard may be one of the earliest dramatic presentations of a modern liberated woman and a call for women’s rights, as Ariane embodies intelligence, reason, and self-reliance in the face of social restrictions and subjugation.

The Humanities Project Ariane and Bluebeard: From Fairy Tale to Comic Book Opera aims to explore the social, spiritual, and aesthetic dimensions of the Bluebeard story and opera through a roundtable, an exhibition, and a performance of the Dukas opera.  The project will draw scholars from various departments and disciplines to discuss and analyze Ariane and Bluebeard from multiple perspectives, including religion and philosophy, literature, the visual arts, music, and women and gender studies.  The exhibition at Rush Rhees Library on the River Campus will consist of various book illustrations of the Bluebeard fairy tale over the centuries, including more recent work by the comic book artist P. Craig Russell, whose graphic novel of the opera Ariane and Blue Beard will serve as the backdrop for performances of the opera by TableTopOpera.

Co-sponsored byHumanities Project at the University of Rochester School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Religion & Classics, Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies, Program for Jewish Studies, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, Department of Music, and the Eastman School of Music

Click here to view event poster.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Hoyt Hall
Hoyt Hall, Rochester

Event Type

Arts and Entertainment, Performances


General Public


humanities, Jewish Studies, modern languages & cultures, Religion Studies

Eastman School of Music, Humanities Center
Contact Phone or Email

275-4760 or

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