Demons, witches and madness in opera and theatre from the English baroque to the Italian melodrama
Shakespeare's Macbeth is certainly the most demonic of Giuseppe Verdi's works. The focus is on the transient nature of power. We witness how a chain of violence, terror and paranoia is unleashed, fatally and destructively pitting Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the witches against one another. Following the productions La Forza del Destino and Otello, the German director Michael Thalheimer is thus creating his own Verdi trilogy at Opera Vlaanderen.
After a prophecy, Macbeth falls prey to an unprecedented ambition and thirst for power, encouraged and orchestrated by his wife. But with the power also grows the guilt and this growing awareness leads to insanity. In the context of the 19th-century Italian opera, Macbeth was risky business. Not only did Verdi work from a harrowing play that was little-known in Italy; he also dispensed with the obligatory love story. Especially innovative was his focus on the disturbed minds of both protagonists, whereby drama and music are inseparably bound up with one another.
With the Italian conductor PaoloCarignani – certainly one of the leading maestros in the Italian opera repertoire working today – the musical direction of Macbeth is in the safest of hands.
This production is coming back in our 2019-2020 season, in Ghent this time. You can find more information and tickets here.