Verdi's 'Macbeth' -
'... much excitement ...'
When planning his Macbeth, Verdi decided on shipping witches galore to the
Moray Firth coast. There, in this Barcelona production filmed for Opus Arte, they
gleefully perform their Shakespearian duties, prophesying respective futures for
Macbeth and Banquo, and brewing their mysterious hell-broth towards the ultimate
destruction of Macbeth (as a schoolboy I once squeaked the part of the Bloody Babe).
That is not all. A supernumerary witch aids the escape of Fleance from the grip of
assassins, thus securing the sequence of Scottish kings and ultimately the accession
of our own dear Queen. In the banquet scene another witch obligingly proffers Macbeth
the royal crown. Here they exult over prophecies soon to be fulfilled
[watch and listen -- 'Chorus of Witches' (Act 1), DVD1 chapter 5, 0:27-1:11].
The Chorus of Witches from Act 1 of 'Macbeth'. DVD screenshot © 2005 Opus Arte
Copyright © 1 March 2006
Robert Anderson, London UK