Opera Scotland

8th Door Eighth Door; The 8th Door

Tours by decade

2010s - 1 tour

2017 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

Tours by location


Lliam Paterson


Selected by Matthew Lenton & the composer


Poems by Endre Ady, Judit Frigyesi, Attila József, Edwin Morgan, Sándor Weöres.



First Performance: Glasgow (Theatre Royal), 28 March 2017.



The 8th Door was commissioned as a companion piece to be performed before Scottish Opera's production of Bartók's Duke Bluebeard's Castle. The text, sung by a group of solo singers amplified from the pit, is drawn from early twentieth century Hungarian poems by a number of authors who were contemporaries of Bartók's librettist, Béla Balázs. Some are left in the original Hungarian text, while for others existing English translations by Edwin Morgan are utilised.


Plot Summary (from programme)

A man and woman are in love. They might be an earlier incarnation of Judith and Bluebeard (the protagonists of Bartók's opera), or a dream-like reflection of them. Their love blossoms, but soon a fracture appears, growing deeper until they are left alone and isolated.

The woman has a dark past which consumes her happiness in love. She decides to confront herself and attempt to resolve her traumatic past. She enters the eighth door, a portal into her own soul, and the gateway to the subterranean world of Bluebeard's Castle.

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