Dukas's Ariane et Barbe-Bleue

Àlex Ollé (stage director), Lothar Koenigs (conductor) — With Katarina Karnéus (Ariane), Anaïk Morel (Nurse), Adèle Charvet (Sélysette), Hélène Carpentier (Mélisande), Tomislav Lavoie (Barbe-Bleue)…

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Cast Program notes More info


Àlex Ollé — Stage director

Alfons Flores — Set designer

Urs Schönebaum — Lighting

Josep Abril Janer — Costume designer

Katarina Karnéus — Ariane

Anaïk Morel — Nurse

Adèle Charvet — Sélysette

Hélène Carpentier — Mélisande

Tomislav Lavoie — Barbe-Bleue

Margot Genet — Ygraine

Amandine Ammirati — Bellangère

Caroline Michel — Alladine

Orchestre et Chœurs de l'Opéra de Lyon

Lothar Koenigs — Conductor

Program notes

Ariane (Ariadne) is a curious and independent young woman, and the newly married sixth wife of the infamous Bluebeard. Soon after arriving at his castle, she discovers her husband’s five former wives locked in a room. Naturally, she decides to free them—yet they seem unwilling to renounce captivity...

Paul Dukas’s Ariane et Barbe-Bleue, performed here as part of Lyon’s "Femmes libres?" ("Free women?") Festival, features a libretto inspired by Charles Perrault’s famous tale and its stage adaptation by Maurice Maeterlinck. Stage director Àlex Ollé chose to stage this highly nuanced work in spite of and because of its contradictions and dualities: folktale and nightmare, reality and idealism. This opposition also plays out in the work’s symbolism: "Ariane is a free woman," says Ollé, "who wants both to proclaim her own freedom and to share it with other women. But the other women in the play come to symbolize submission and the renunciation of individual freedom." The action unfolds in two parallel planes, one real (Ariane and Bluebeard’s wedding) and the other fantastic (the protagonist’s subconscious).

The finished product is a bracingly contemporary work that calls our perceptions of liberty into question, with Alfons Flores’s captivating scenography magnified by the stunning talent of mezzo-soprano Katarina Karnéus.

Photo © Mar Flores Flo

More info

Available until

Tuesday, March 24, 2026