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ROH Live: Macbeth

12A certificate image
Running time: 200 mins
Release date: 4 April 2018

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Wednesday 4 Apr
ROH Live: Macbeth main image

Synopsis

VERDI’S OPERA ON SHAKESPEARE’S TRAGEDY IS CONDUCTED BY ANTONIO PAPPANO, WITH A MAGNIFICENT CAST INCLUDING ANNA NETREBKO, ŽELJKO LUCIC AND ILDEBRANDO D’ARCANGELO

SUNG IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SURTITLES

Verdi’s life-long love affair with Shakespeare’s works began with Macbeth, a play he considered to be ‘one of the greatest creations of man’. With his librettist, Francesco Maria Piave, Verdi set out to create ‘something out of the ordinary’. Their success is borne out in every bar of a score that sees Verdi at his most theatrical: it bristles with demonic energy.

The warrior Macbeth fights on the side of the King of Scotland – but when a coven of witches prophesy that he shall become king himself, a ruthless ambition drives Macbeth and his wife to horrific acts.

Murder makes Macbeth king, and intrigue and butchery are the hallmarks of his brief, doomed reign. The witches make another prediction, which also comes true: Macbeth and his lady lose their lives, and justice is restored.

Phyllida Lloyd’s 2002 production for The Royal Opera is richly hued, shot through with black, red and gold. The witches – imagined by designer Anthony Ward as strange, scarlet-turbaned creatures – are ever-present agents of fate. Lloyd depicts the Macbeths’ childlessness as the dark sadness lurking behind their terrible deeds. The Royal Opera’s production uses Verdi’s 1865 Paris revision of the opera, which includes Lady Macbeth’s riveting aria ‘La luce langue’.

MUSIC - GIUSEPPE VERDI

DIRECTOR - PHYLLIDA LLOYD

CONDUCTOR - ANTONIO PAPPANO

MACBETH - ŽELJKO LUCIC

LADY MACBETH - ANNA NETREBKO

BANQUO - ILDEBRANDO D’ARCANGELO

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