Bluebeard is languishing (offstage) in the ICU ward of a modern hospital. His next of kin has been notified, and so five of his wives show up, straight out of an earlier era, with costumes, attitudes, and life histories to match. He awakens just long enough to ask for his wife. Which one does he mean? The answer surprises everyone, including the nursing staff.
Length: 50 minutes
Excerpt - Bluebeard's Waiting Room (click to launch matching score)
All five wives have gathered, and all have been asked to sign a consent form so that Bluebeard can have an operation. They find it hard to agree about anything regarding Bluebeard, when each of them sees him so differently.
Performed by the Georgia State University Opera Workshop
RN (Registered Nurse) Mezzo – No nonsense, authoritative, sympathetic but unsentimental.
LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) Soprano – Younger than RN, emotional, unsure of herself, big-hearted but also easily confused
MIRETTE High Soprano – Very romantic and fluttery, frequently bursting into passionate avowals of love
SUZETTE Mezzo – Cynical and sarcastic, without illusions and with a barely suppressed desire for revenge
LUCIETTE Soprano – Fun-loving, earthy, always a little inebriated, sexually adventurous
FANETTE Soprano – Unemotional, poised, but without depth of feeling, accustomed to being served
CLAUDETTE Soprano (or Mezzo) – Straightforward, warm, rational, with a good sense of humor about herself
DOCTOR (non-singing) – Enters and exits, shouts “Clear!” four times from offstage
Piano only or orchestration: oboe, clarinet, horn, keyboard, violin, cello, bass