‘Hopes, chimeras, distant mysteries... What does this story tell us?’ The Prologue to Bluebeard’s Castle invites us to consider the work as a mysterious adventure punctuated by the opening of castle doors, each opening on another world, allowing Bartók to write layered and evocative music. The conductor Alain Altinoglu and director Christophe Coppens, who made his opera debut at la Monnaie with a staging of The Cunning Little Vixen, guide our wanderings. Before the intimate Bluebeard’s Castle, the same team also presents The Miraculous Mandarin, a torrid ballet by Bartók whose main character is a prostitute. In the tumult of the city, she attempts to rob one of her clients, an invulnerable mandarin, who will only succumb to the embrace of the woman. Thus, in an atmosphere of violence and mystery, two couples follow one after the other ... unless of course they are but two facets of the same couple?