Bluebeard’s Castle & The 8th Door


Supported by H R Creswick Charitable Trust, PRS Foundation for Music & Scottish Opera’s New Commissions Circle

Bartók’s beautiful, mysterious opera is directed by Matthew Lenton, founder of genre-busting stage creators Vanishing Point. It is staged alongside The 8th Door, a new work Lenton has created with Scottish Opera Composer in Residence Lliam Paterson, delving further into Bluebeard’s secretive world to create an ambitious double bill that is set to enthral and intrigue.

Bluebeard’s Castle is a tale of mystery, obsession, murder and infatuation, to which Lenton brings a disturbing dose of contemporary resonance. From the spine-tingling to the truly unsettling, Bartók’s music contrasts the intimacy of just two singers with one of the richest orchestrations in opera. Internationally acclaimed singers Karen Cargill and Robert Hayward bring the characters to life.

'Bluebeard was very innovative for its day; what better way to complement it than to create an equally ground-breaking piece for our own era.' Matthew Lenton & Lliam Paterson

Inspired by Bartók’s great masterpiece, The 8th Door probes those things left unsaid – the spaces and silences in Bluebeard’s Castle. Performed by a cast of actors from around the globe, it holds up a mirror to the world of Bluebeard, weaving together the poetry of his Hungarian contemporaries and Paterson’s clear and vibrant music. Six singers join the orchestra in the pit, delivering a wealth of textures and sounds to a strikingly beautiful visual story of love and confusion.

Sung in Hungarian with English supertitles
Running time approx. 2 hrs


Close credits panel

Cast & Creative Team

Robert Hayward

Karen Cargill

Robert Jack

Elicia Daly, Pauline Goldsmith & Gresa Pallaska

The 8th Door: Performers
Elicia Daly, Pauline Goldsmith, Robert Jack & Gresa Pallaska

The 8th Door: Singers
Katie Grosset, Martin Häßler, Daniel Keating-Roberts, Hazel McBain*, William Morgan & Emily Vine
*The John Mather Charitable Trust Scottish Opera Emerging Artist

Sian Edwards

Matthew Lenton

Set, Lighting & Projection Design
Kai Fischer

Costume Design
Jessica Brettle

The 8th Door, co-created by
Matthew Lenton & Lliam Paterson

The 8th Door, composed by
Lliam Paterson

What the press said

'A full deck of superb performances.' ★★★★★ The Herald

'Beautiful and unsettling.' The Telegraph 

'Powerful gravitas and emotional heat.' The Scotsman

'Powerful, intense and utterly moving.' The Stage

'Bartók’s wondrous music dazzles throughout of the piece.' The Outlier

Get Closer

Widen your opera experience with a pre-show talk, or try a free hour long taster that gives you an insight into our operas and how they are created.

Opera Unwrapped

Wed 29 Mar, 6pm

Thu 6 Apr, 6pm

Pre-show Talk

Sat 1 Apr, 6pm

Sat 8 Apr, 6pm

Tickets for Opera Unwrapped and pre-show talks are free but should be reserved by calling the box office at your chosen venue. Find out more.


If you are visually impaired, you can enjoy the full opera experience with live commentary that describes the action on stage without compromising the music. Free touch tours including the set, props and costumes are also available before the show.

Touch Tours

Sat 1 Apr, 6pm

Sat 8 Apr, 6pm

Audio Described

Sat 1 Apr, 7.15pm

Sat 8 Apr, 7.15pm

Contact the box office at your local venue to book – tickets should be booked at least two weeks in advance. Discounts available. Touch tours only available to audio-description bookers. Guide dogs welcome. Find out more.