Following her highly praised interpretation of Verdi’s Otello earlier this season (see here), this month Julia Jones appeared again with the Opéra National de Bordeaux conducting Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle in a new production by Juliette Deschamps. The complete performance can be heard until 20th March by visiting the Musique France website.
With Paul Gay singing the title role and Christine Rice the role of Judith, the show has received much critical acclaim:
“In Bluebeard’s Castle, the quintessence of the drama is expressed by the orchestra: the British conductor Julia Jones conducts with a sense of orchestral colour that is almost impressionistic, reminding us of everything that links Bartok to Debussy; directing the Orchestre National Bordeaux-Aquitaine, she magnificently highlights their flexibility and clarity.” - Christian Merlan, Le Figaro
“On the podium, Julia Jones succeeds in distinguishing the different moods with great energy whilst highlighting the musical contrasts without the tension ever slackening… rich colours and a great sense of theatricality are everywhere. Barely recognizable since it moved into the its new auditorium, the Orchestre National Bordeaux-Aquitaine flourishes in the longer phrases, playing with an almost Straussian opulence, while exalting with clarity a glittering soundworld, eruptive and brilliantly impressionistic.” – Patrick Szersnovicz, Diapason
“The musical direction of Julia Jones is probably the highlight of the show. The musicians of the Bordeaux opera house have mastered the colours and the rhythms of the score with great ease. Julia Jones exploits the incredible timbres previously unheard from this opera which shimmers between the wonderful and the fantastic. It is wholly evocative and immensely powerful… The musical performance is of such quality that we (almost) accept witnessing Bluebeard kill Judith at the end and take the ring away… as if the intoxicating music from the pit allows us to forget all the many contradictions on the stage.” – Sabina Pena Arcia, classiquenews.com
“Satisfaction at a well-appreciated performance was clearly demonstrated, with a unanimous ovation for the dark beauty of a piece that Julia Jones moulds with an iron baton.” – Christoph Rizoud, Forumopera
“[Under Julia Jones] the precision and range of colour was remarkable, placing the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine definitively as a major ensemble in France.” – Maxime Kaprielian, ResMusica
Later this season Julia Jones will conduct new productions Aida in Macerata and Fidelio in Vienna, as well as revivals of Die Zauberflöte and Idomeneo at the Semperoper in Dresden.