Verdi's Macbeth

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

With its appealing music and a familiar story of a treacherous and scheming couple taken from Shakespeare's play, Macbeth is always a crowd-pleaser. American baritone Thomas Hampson sings the title role in this revival of Adrian Noble’s production.

Gianandrea Noseda conducts his first Met performances of Verdi’s opera, adapted from the Shakespeare tragedy, which also stars German soprano Nadja Michael in her Met debut run as Lady Macbeth. Dimitri Pittas reprises his Macduff, seen in the 2007 premiere of Adrian Noble’s production, and Günther Groissböck sings the role of Banquo.

Macbeth is Hampson’s fifth Verdi role at the Met, where he has also sung Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Rodrigo in Don Carlo, the title role in Simon Boccanegra, and Carlo in Ernani. Next season, he will make his Met role debut as Iago in Verdi’s Otello.

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Comments [10]

Norma Stitz from NYC

The soprano woman was smoking hot. I watched the performance live and she even flashed the audience as she squatted at one point. I said to myself Holly smokes, does she realize that we see what we see???

Apr. 08 2012 08:49 PM
Alexandra from Milano

@Bernie, the art form will evolve when new composers will compose their own, contemporary operas which will be worthy of our ears and eyes.

Mar. 25 2012 12:32 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau county

Bravo Mr. Hampson. His acceptance speech was most gracious. This performance was great fun. Felt sorry for the vocal problems Lady Macbeth seemed to have with the sleepwalking scene but this is so difficult. And the tenor aria, La Paterno Mano. What can I say. I almost cried. Do not usually cry even if I am of Italian descent. Was reading the score and even without the score, came to the conclusion that Mr. Hampson's Italian is flawless. Understood every word. Wonderful opera. Again, Mr. Eisenberg, thanks for the poem.

Mar. 24 2012 04:14 PM
larry eisenberg from nyc

Replete with squillo, Groissböck's voice,
When Banquo sang, I did rejoice,
His untimely end
Made my spirits descend,
Still, Macbeth's a wonderful choice!

Mar. 24 2012 02:45 PM
norman michael canter from NYC

Akira Kurosawa's THRONE OF BLOOD, now regarded as a classic adaptation of Macbeth, demonstrates how the universal themes can be translated into a very different culture. But those seeking to alter classic staging of the opera must bear in mind that Kurosawa was a genius.

Mar. 24 2012 02:29 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau county

Is it updating having Lady Macbeth walking on chairs and almost falling off. Also, this army did not look Scottish and there is bagpipe music when the witches conjure up the future kings of Scotland. In the score it is written cornamusa, bagpipes. Feel sorry sometimes for the singer who must do Lady Macbeth. Really difficult vocally. I think Verdi wrote that he did not want a beautiful voice for the part. Not sure. Great opera but glad I am not watching it, just listening. Have a great cd with Nucci and the stupendous Shirley Verrett. Perfect together. Enjoy

Mar. 24 2012 02:08 PM
Bernie from UWS

@Alexandra - Updating classics is a theatrical convention that's been done for decades in all of the arts. Think of how many Hamlets or Nutcrackers have been transported to different times and places. Opera is no different, nor should it be. The question is: how do it in a way that makes dramatic sense. If directors always pander to the most conservative contingent in the audience, the art form will never evolve.

Mar. 24 2012 01:53 PM
Alexandra from Milano

Why do today's opera directors/designers think that contemporary dress and staging will "update" a traditional opera??? Composers are turning in their graves: I'm sure if they could they'd protest. Meanwhile, I'm doing it in their stead, by merely "listening" rather than "watching" their works in opera houses. Lacking in original ideas, directors think they have found a winning formula...

Mar. 24 2012 01:21 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau county

Hi Beduzza Cavanaugh,
This opera is one of the operas that I would take with me were I ever exiled. Verdi and Shakespeare, perfect together. Check it out. Can't wait to hear Hampson in the role. Heard him in the love honor respect aria. And in its stead, curses, not loud but deep.
The Met production of this is a real stinkeroo. Trash. Would consign the designer of this to one of the levels of hell.
Best wishes

Mar. 24 2012 07:40 AM

Hi Beduzza, Enjoy the weather. Enjoy the opera. I'll be transferring items from svhs to dvd.

Mar. 24 2012 04:59 AM

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