Macbeth – Verdi

Luca Ronconi, Giuseppe Sinopoli – With Renato Bruson (Macbeth) and Mara Zampieri (Lady Macbeth) – Deutsche Oper Berlin, 1987

Cupidity and madness at the heart of this solemn production of Macbeth by Luca Ronconi.

Scotland. 11th century. On their way back from a victory over the Norwegian army, Macbeth, King Duncan's cousin, and Banquo, Macbeth's friend, encounter a witches' assembly which foretells to Macbeth that he would soon accede to the throne. Under the influence of his wife, Macbeth premeditates thus to murder the King. However Lady Macbeth, observing that her husband wavers to give the fatal blow, grabs the dagger and commits herself the regicide. The couple caught up in a spiral of violence runs inevitably towards a fatal ending, a fatal ending brilliantly brought round by Verdi's score which dramatic tension never falls off.

Preceding Otello, Falstaff and an unfinished King Lear, Macbeth is the first adaptation by Verdi of a Shakespearian play. Even though the opera's first version dates back to 1847, nowadays performances prefer to stage the revised version of 1865 in which Verdi introduced new arias, including the famous La Luce langue in the second act. Luca Ranconi's production favours sobriety and dark scenery in order to plunge the public in the gloomy psychology of the protagonists. Consumed by avidity, the Macbeth couple is brilliantly brought to life by Renato Bruson and Mara Zampieri, accompanied in their unavoidable fall towards paranoia and madness by the energetic Giuseppe Sinopoli conducing the Deutshe Oper Berlin's orchestra.

In the press:

"Sinopoli makes the orchestra shine, gives it a totally individual colour. Mara Zampieri in the role of Lady Macbeth has a powerful, austere voice of cutting clarity […]. Renato Bruson as Macbeth is a very warm, adaptable heroic baritone."
Berliner Morgenpost, 1987

Luca Ronconi stage director
Luciano Damiani set designer, costume designer

Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Marcus Creed chorus master
Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Giuseppe Sinopoli music director

Goetz Rose (Duncan)
David Griffith (Malcolm)
Renato Bruson (Macbeth)
Mara Zampieri (Lady Macbeth)
James Morris (Banquo)
Dennis O'Neill (Macduff)

Movie director : Brian Large
Playlists : Viva Verdi!, Literature and Music, The Best of Italian Operas, Shakespeare in Music
Music genre : Voice

Duration : 02 h 29 min
Location : Deutsche Oper (Berlin, Germany)
Production date : 1987
Production : © RM Arts
Available version(s) : IT ST EN

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