Melodramma in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi Performed in Italian with German supertitles
Generals Banquo and Macbeth return from battle victorious. They meet some witches who prophesy the future: they greet Macbeth as Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland, and Banquo as the father of kings. Macbeth has a foreboding that the prophecy will lead to bloodshed. Lady Macbeth learns of the prophecy in a letter from her husband. She wants Macbeth to become king with her support. King Duncan arrives at Macbeth´s castle. Macbeth and his Lady agree to murder the ruler. Macbeth kills King Duncan in his sleep. Lady Macbeth smears the king’s blood on his drunken guards to implicate them in the murder. Macduff and Banquo discover the murdered Duncan. The people and the ruling class pray to God to avenge this deed.
Macbeth is named King of Scotland. To secure his power, he and Lady Macbeth decide that Banquo and his son must die. Murderers lurk in wait for Banquo. Banquo is killed but his son Fleance escapes the assault. The King and his Lady hold a feast. Lady Macbeth appeals to her guests to forget their enmity and sorrow. The ghost of the dead Banquo appears at the banquet. Macbeth, the only one who can see Banquo, challenges the ghost to a fight. All those present are shocked by their ruler’s madness. Macduff decides to flee the country.
Macbeth visits the wichtes again. They tell him to beware of Macduff. Macbeth will be killed by no man borne of woman. He will rule until Birnam Wood marches against him. Asked whether Banquo’s offspring will rule, the witches show him a line of kings: Banquo’s descendants. Macbeth loses consciousness. On his Lady´s advice, Macbeth resolves to wipe out Macduff’s family, and to find and kill Banquo´s son Fleance.
The victims of Macbeth’s tyranny grieve for their country. Duncan´s son Malcom calls the people to fight against their oppressor. Lady Macbeth walks in her sleep to the alarm of her maid and the doctor, and confesses to the murder of King Duncan. An army disguised with branches of the Birnam Wood advances towards Macbeth. Macbeth receives news of his Lady’s suicide. Macduff, who was borne by caesarean delivery, slays Macbeth. The people celebrate victory and the knew King Malcom.