Seven Doors

architect Matko Trebotić
project Set Design for Béla Bartók's Opera "Duke Bluebeard's Castle", The Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb, Croatia
written by Petar Selem


After the first reading of the score of Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and after listening to several audio recordings our conclusion may not have been all that original, but it was undeniable: the castle was a metaphor for the soul. The soul of a Man whose beauty and horrors a Woman strives to penetrate. The Woman, Judith, strives to open seven doors. Seven is the number of initiation. To Mithras it was the number of initiatory stages in his cult, the seven planetary spheres, the seven levels of consciousness. The fundamental task, both of the director and the set designer, lay in defining the area of the soul and marking the stages of penetration into its alluring and dangerous depths.