fri 07/08/2020

Macbeth, Royal Opera | reviews, news & interviews

Macbeth, Royal Opera

Macbeth, Royal Opera

Stunning soprano and firm conducting salvage this unworthy Verdi staging

Liudmyla Monastyrska, a tireless driving force, and Simon Keenlyside as the MacbethsBoth images by Clive Barda

The staging smacks of Covent Garden's familiar Verdi-by-numbers - surprising since it's the often inventive Phyllida Lloyd's concept, revived by Harry Fehr, but it might as well be the inert pageantry of Elijah Moshinsky - while the necessary singing-acting, no doubt as a result, is mostly one-dimensional and overcooked. Verdi's first confident shot at music-theatre, revised for Paris in 1864 but already vivid in outline four years before Rigoletto broke the mould, deserves better. At least it enjoys firm-of-purpose conducting by Antonio Pappano and one vocal performance of unflagging brilliance.

There was no fear or terror in Verdi's great, lightning-flash operatic condensation of "Is this a dagger?"

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