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.
Duration: Approx 3 hours and 20 minutes, including one interval
Sung in Italian with English subtitles. An Opera in four acts.
Macbeth: Željko Lučić Lady Macbeth: Anna Netrebko Banquo: Ildebrando D'Arcangelo
Music: Giuseppe Verdi Director: Phyllida Lloyd Conductor: Antonio Pappano
'Encore' screenings have been recorded live and released for broadcast at a later date, shown in cinemas around the UK.