The Royal Opera House presents a live cinema screening of Verdi’s Macbeth, inspired by Shakespeare’s great tragedy of the same name, on Wednesday 4 April at 7.15pm.
The opera tells the terrifying tale of Macbeth, a warrior who, after hearing a coven of witches prophesy that he will become King of Scotland, is driven by ambition and encouraged by his wife to make the prophecy reality. Soon the murderous couple become possessed by a paranoia that drives them to further crimes and ultimately leads to their downfall.
Verdi’s passion for Shakespeare’s plays began with Macbeth (1847, his tenth opera), which he described as ‘one of the greatest creations of man’. It was his first great Shakespearean adaptation; he would create two more, Otello and Falstaff, in his final years. The Royal Opera’s production uses Verdi’s 1865 revision of the opera for Paris, which includes Lady Macbeth’s thrilling aria ‘La luce langue’.
Directed by the award-winning Phyllida Lloyd, who made her debut at the Royal Opera House in 2002 with Macbeth, the production captures the sadness of the Macbeths, in particular the childlessness that may be a motivating force behind their terrible deeds.
Antonio Pappano conducts a cast led by Serbian baritone Željko Lui as Macbeth, Russian soprano Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth (one of her signature roles) and Italian bass-baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo as Banquo.
The performance lasts three hours and 20 minutes and includes one interval, which will feature extensive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and creative team.
Macbeth will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.