Macbeth - Glyndebourne on Tour

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Norwich Theatre Royal


Norwich Theatre Royal

All hail Macbeth! Just a minute, though, whose Macbeth is this really? Shakespeare wrote his Scottish tragedy, most likely for its performance in Edinburgh in about 1600. With politics and murder in an atmosphere of mystery, the grand tale of a powerful chieftain, dominated by his wife and undermined by doubt, has been played out in many variations.

Now Glyndebourne Touring brings to the refurbished Theatre Royal Verdi's Macbeth in a thoroughly rejuvenated form. Under Robin Ticciati, the orchestra and singers perform the Italian composer's music with skill, commitment and sympathy for the conventions of his early 19th century style.

At the same time, Richard Jones' production takes us right away from a remote period in Scotland's history and Romantic responses to the Elizabethan dramatist. Instead, he gives us a study of a power struggle in modern dress. This is directors' opera. The old material has been refashioned to intrigue an audience that must be ready to see it with new eyes, without missing the implications from a world of today.

The performance is gripping. Part of the pleasure comes from stripping back the layers. It is always entertaining to compare the new with the old, judging whether this touch or that is apt, just a bit too clever, or just good for a giggle. If you think you already know how Macbeth goes, you certainly end up revising your opinions.

Most Read

The strong cast sing in Italian with English supertitles is equal to the burden to this reinterpretation.

Sozdateleva, Ilya Bannik takes the part of Banquo and Stefano Ferrari that of Macduff.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter