RPO/Dutoit at Festival Hall, SE1


In this all-Hungarian goulash of a concert, there was no doubt who was supplying the spicy paprika. Ildiko Komlosi and Willard White had only stepped into the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of Bartók’s phantasmagorical Duke Bluebeard’s Castle the day before the event to replace the originally announced soloists. Clearly they are used to Bartók’s house of fairytale horror for both singers were on excellent form.


RPO/Dutoit review – Bartók’s portrait of marital failure chillingly realised


Soloists Willard White and Ildikó Komlósi conquer Bluebeard’s Castle, as Charles Dutoit marshals the RPO with probing virtuosity

It is often said that Bluebeard’s Castle, Bartók’s one-act opera about marital failure, inhabits a theatre of the imagination and is just as much at home in the concert hall as on stage. Charles Dutoit’s performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the final work in a Hungarian-themed evening, was a fine reminder of its power to haunt and disturb by musical means alone.


Far more than a fairy tale: Bartók's Duke Bluebeard's Castle at the Royal Festival Hall


The Perrault fairy tale is cosy enough: the foolish bride opens the forbidden door, the bloodthirsty Bluebeard vows to chop off her head, the bride’s brothers rescue her. It’s just that Béla Bartók didn’t see it that way. His short opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle is far more sophisticated fare: a deep exploration of the mental state of Bluebeard and Judith as she is irresistibly drawn through a series of doors of which the last will spell oblivion.

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Alexander Shelley appointed as Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is proud to announce the appointment of Alexander Shelley, ‘a conductor of superlative gifts’, as its new Principal Associate Conductor. Already appointed as Music Director-designate of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, he will join the select list of esteemed artists who currently conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Latest News

  • Wednesday 10 January 2018
    Charles Dutoit Steps Down Early as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Monday 1 January 2018
    Welcome to New Cellist Anna Stuart
  • Friday 22 December 2017
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Responds to Accusations Made About Charles Dutoit

Latest Press

  • Wednesday 22 November 2017
    Sir Peter Ellwood CBE DL presented with honorary membership – Press Release
  • Friday 10 November 2017
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra continues five-year residency at Hull City Hall – Press Release
  • Wednesday 1 November 2017
    "Studying a score is like reading a novel": An interview with Alexander Shelley