Classical music

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer

Part of International Orchestra Series

The Budapest Festival Orchestra presents Bartók's dark and disquieting opera, steeped in Hungarian folk tradition. The combination of this 'ultra-charismatic' orchestra and music director Iván Fischer has been described by The Guardian as 'intoxicating'.

Bartók had a lifetime devotion to folk music and hoped that his Hungarian Peasant Songs, based on authentic Hungarian melodies and orchestrated in 1933, would open up these pretty folk melodies to a wider audience.

Written in Budapest, Bartók's single opera is a bloodthirsty fairytale with strong psychological and erotic undertones. Featuring just two characters, it's arresting performed in concert.

Bluebeard brings his new wife Judith home to his castle. She asks him to let light into the gloomy hall by opening its seven doors and discovers a series of troubling mysteries, including a torture chamber and Bluebeard's treasure horde, dripping with gore. But what will happen when she opens the seventh door?

'A real treat. Fischer conducted it with infectious joy.'
(The Guardian on Budapest Festival Orchestra's The Magic Flute in 2016)


Budapest Festival Orchestra
Iván Fischer conductor
Márta Sebestyén folk singer
Ildikó Komlósi mezzo-soprano, Judith
Krisztián Cser bass, Bluebeard


Bartók: Hungarian Peasant Songs, Sz.100 for orchestra
-: interspersed with unaccompanied traditional songs
Bartók: Duke Bluebeard's Castle - opera in 1 act
-: (concert performance in Hungarian with English surtitles)


Royal Festival Hall
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need to know

£7 student tickets are available via the Student Pulse app in the month before this concert. Some of these seats are on the stage. Download the app from any app store or go to

before & after

Exterior view of Giraffe restaurant at the Southbank Centre
Giraffe's all about freshly cooked food served to the sound of great music
Exterior view of YO! Sushi at the Southbank Centre
Delectable Japanese sushi, ramen and more to be grabbed from the conveyor belt