When foretold by a trio of witches that he will ascend to the Scottish throne, the warrior Macbeth and Lady Macbeth hatch a murderous plot against King Duncan. Guilt, fear and loneliness engulf the couple after carrying out their plan, leading to a maelstrom of killings and madness¬. Yet it is only when Birnam Wood is revealed to be a hostile English army that Macbeth’s power finally crumbles.
In his opera based on the Shakespearian tragedy, Verdi describes the loss of human compassion, and the emptiness which this leaves behind. To better realize his intentions, the score sacrifices traditional forms for the sake of heightened expression – a pivotal development in opera towards greater vocal freedom.
Melodramma in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi Performed in Italian with German supertitles
Running time 3 hours
Premiere 03 Oct 2005