The Artistic World of Maurice Maeterlinck’s drama “Ariane et Barbe-Bleue” in view of Paul Dukas: The Composer’s Work on the Playwright’s Text


The article covers the issues concerning Paul Dukas’s opera “Ariane et Barbe-Bleue” that happened to be the only operatic project in composer’s oeuvre. The history of the creation of the opera (it was firmly fitted into socio-political context of fin-de-siècle France) is taken under consideration as well as the process of Dukas’ work on the text of the libretto, which was presented by the play of the same name by the Belgian playwright M. Maeterlinck: the composer, in accordance with his ideas about the character of the main character, makes text changes of the original literary source. However, modifications of the verbal component seem to be driven by musical purposes themselves: Dukas tries both to achieve a comfortable singing by changing, in particular, the words in places, and to balance the whole composition by adding new fragments to the original text.


Paul Dukas, Maurice Maeterlinck, “Ariane et Barbe-Bleue”, libretto, suffragism, musical prosody