Verdi's Macbeth

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Saturday, February 07, 2015

A Scene from Lady Macbeth A Scene from Lady Macbeth (Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)

Join us at 1 pm for the Metropolitan Opera's broadcast of Verdi's Macbeth, which was recorded in the fall of 2014. Russian soprano Anna Netrebko sings the crazed Lady Macbeth, alongside Željko Lucic as the Scottish king Macbeth. The Met's revival of Adrian Noble's 2007 production also features Joseph Calleja as Macduff and René Pape as Banquo.

Noble uses modern dress in his version of Verdi's Shakespearean adaptation, reviving the classic tragedy. The Metropolitan Opera's Grammy-winning principal conductor Fabio Luisi conducts Verdi's score. 

Comments [14]


I have the recording and video with Nucci and Verrett.
Glad my recording is on cd or I would have scratched the hell out of
it. Never heard Lucic before and he is a very fine baritone.

Feb. 08 2015 07:21 AM
CastaDiva from New York, NY

Adele F (aka AF) from Nassau County, Long Island
The Bruson/Zampieri recording must be very good. But have you heard Piero Cappucilli in the title role with Shirley Verrett as his lady? It's on CD, and both are memorable. Piero is wonderful, Verrett gives a virtuoso performance, a very young Domingo sings Macduff, and the great basso Ghiaurov is Banquo.
Great singing by all, and Abbado conducts La Scala opera and chorus.
Today's performance was very good, too, but, like you, I don't much like Netrebko's voice, either.

Feb. 07 2015 06:18 PM
CastaDiva from New York, NY

Lucic in the title role is superb, and the best thing in this. I had seen him in the original production, and he sounds even better now. Lovely, suave, baritone, so wanting nowadays in Verdi operas (esp. with a has been tenor now masquerading as a Verdian baritone). Pape's deep, grainy basso is impeccable, and Calleja's O figli! was nicely done. As for Netrebko, after being disappointed in her lighter lyric roles in the bel canto operas, I did not know what to expect from her in Verdi, and gave this a miss last fall. She is managing to sing some coloratura, never her strong suit, in this. Some problems in sustaining the high notes, and her sleep walking scene I liked not at all. The Met orchestra and chorus are marvelous as always. But I did not like the bag lady witches' costumes that I remember from the original production, nor the walking on a row of chairs required of LM, a needless and precarious feat. But the desolate snow scene in Act 4, Sc. 1, when Patria oppressa is sung by the Scottish exiles, was beautiful.

Feb. 07 2015 04:14 PM
Concetta nardone from Nassau

Bravi, tutti.

Feb. 07 2015 04:08 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Kudos to all involved for this memorable performance. Anna Netrebko outdid herself, drawing out of her intelligence and vocal prowess a performance at once exciting and beautiful as Lady Macbeth in a voice stronger and deeper than we have heard from her previously. Rene Pape is the reigning bass today. His iconic aria just before he is murdered is sung magnificently in a rich authoritative voice. Joseph Calleja sang his tenor aria as Macduff splendidly also at his best. Maestro Fabio Luisi managed all the balances and tempi with the orchestra, chorus and principals with aplomb and conviction. Zelijko Lucic's voice fits the role of Macbeth perfectly.

Feb. 07 2015 04:04 PM
Adele F (aka AF) from Nassau County, Long Island

I am enjoying this, one of my favorite operas! Lucic is currently the best Verdi baritone around these days, in my opinion. And of course Pape is always first rate. However, I am not a big fan of Anna Netrebko. Mara Zampieri is my favorite Lady Macbeth; she is on the recording, cd and video, with Renato Bruson.

Re: the all the talk of Juntwait and Siff: I think the most annoying thing for me is that they try to sound like they are just talking, ad libbing, when it seems clear to me that they are reading a script. All too artificial sounding!

Feb. 07 2015 02:48 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

I am getting such a "fix" from this music.
Oh bless you Peppino.

Feb. 07 2015 01:58 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonbton, NJ

All the best, tanto cose, Concetta. YOU are UNICA !!!

Anna Netrebko pulled off her aria earlier with elan and the old musicianship that we have come to expect from her.

Feb. 07 2015 01:46 PM
CastaDiva from New York, NY

Spot on, Uncle Charlie. It's quite insufferable, that spoonfeeding yaketty yak to the listeners, first from one, then, as a counterpoint, from the other. I just use the mute button until I judge they're done.

Feb. 07 2015 01:39 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

I am happy to see that Ms. Juntwait is no longer ill but too much talk.

Feb. 07 2015 01:26 PM

how I wish Juntwait, Siff and especially William Berger would just shut the F up during these broadcasts, I miss Peter Allen and Milton Cross. Why can't we have sophisticated and intelligent announcers like that anymore? Juntwait sounds like she's talking to children and Berger, my god, one foolish, unnecessary comment after the other.

Feb. 07 2015 01:19 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

KBL: Lucky me, I have a recording of Caruso singing La Paterno Mano.
Best wishes

As for Macbeth, I remarked to my sons that House of Cards is Macbeth, except that Macbeth has better music.

Feb. 07 2015 12:46 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha,l NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Shakespeare's MACBETH is amongst the Bard's most sanguine plots that have enthused politicos of all stripes to venture on their own to in other terms plot-wise or musical to explore further the driving forces behind skullduggery. Lady Macbeth is actually the motivating force central to the murder scheme. Sopranos of all categories have vied for thye opportunity to sing the Lady Macbeth role which is a tantalizing yet demanding one tessitura wise. Rene Pape from past experiences may well steal the show, although Anna Netrebko is sure to stir the most excitement and anxious anticipation. Even though Joseph Calleja is expected to sing well, remember Caruso sang the role of Macduff and even he did not dislodge the centrality of ,Lady Macduff's contribution to the scenario. Zelijko Lucic is the title role Macbeth, bit maestro Fabio Luisi is sure to command a large share of the positive response to the performance. Wagner, as many composers of his era, composed operas on the Shakespeare plays, besides Verdi there was Nicolai [Merry Wives of Windsor], Thomas [Hamlet] and and more contemporaneously Sergius Kagen [Hamlet] and Vittprio Giannini [Hamlet], the last two named, my teachers at Juilliard, [ The famous diva Dusolina Giannini was Vittorio's sister. Wagner's first efforts were Die Feen based on S's Midsummer Night's Dream and Das Libesverbot based on S's Measure for Measure. Being an opera composer myself using Shakespeare as my librettist, I definitely support his endeavor to bring new works to the attention of the public, not just the professional musician.. On my websites:, and 15 selections of the Wagner heldentenor roles from Rienzi to Parsifal, jncluding Lohengrin, Siegmund, Siegfried, Gotterdammerung Siegfried, Tristan and Walther von Stolzing may be downloaded along with reviews of music critics of major newspaper and music magazines, free, at Recorded Selections. My favorite selections are Amfortas ! die Wunde !, Siegmund heiss' ich and Schmiede mein Hammer. The recordings live, unretouched may be downloaded, free, at Recorded Selections on my websites. I also am an opera composer with two operas, each around three hours long, written for a single protagonist heldentenor representing the title role of Shakespeare, "Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare." They are expected to be obtainable in 2 years on my 6 websites in cart arrangements with paying for the showings' downloading. I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute where there is voice production technique instruction for plays and opera and coaching for all the Shakespeare and Wagner roles.

Feb. 07 2015 12:15 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

CBC: Hope you are well. still damn cold.
This is the opera whereby Verdi became Verdi. He re-wrote it and boy did he get it right.
Watched Sunday's telecast and the singers were very good. Nice to hear Joseph Calleja again. Staging really dopey. The witches looked like frumpy housewives and Lady Macbeth walking on chairs. Really. I was afraid she might fall off and hurt herself. Lucic was really fine as Macbeth. Never heard him before. I understand Domingo is now portraying Macbeth.

Feb. 07 2015 07:14 AM

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