<< -- 2 -- Robert Anderson ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION
The hallmark of the production is apparently 'dramatic nudity'. This means nothing
more startling than extreme economy in the sets, and therefore intense concentration on
the opera's characters. Much of the time we are greyly walled in beyond anything that
Scottish weather or architecture might imply, let alone the sort of staging Verdi had
in mind. But with Duncan murdered, Macbeth and 'Lady' in hectic colloquy need no
[listen -- 'Sappia la sposa mia (Act 1), DVD1 chapter 10, 4:30-5:45].
This was the scene
Verdi rehearsed endlessly before the 1847 première in Florence. It cannot be
said that Carlos Álvarez and Maria Guleghina quite achieve the deathly
conspiratorial atmosphere Verdi was after.
Macbeth (Carlos Álvarez) discovers Banquo (Roberto Scandiuzzi) at the back of the gilded cage, in Act 2 of 'Macbeth'. DVD screenshot © 2005 Opus Arte
With the Macbeths seemingly secure on their thrones, it remains for the court to
celebrate. Verdi knows exactly how to do this with an air of reckless frivolity that
can only enhance the ghostly appearance of dead Banquo
[listen -- 'Finale 2' (Act 2), DVD1 chapter 18, 0:43-1:56].
Lady Macbeth manages one of the most intoxicating of Verdi's drinking-songs, and all
goes splendidly till Macbeth alone beholds the fatal vision. Banquo is manifested at
the back of the gilded cage confining the royal pair, a spectre spreadeagled in the
manner of a crucified St Andrew, terrifying enough to the distraught Macbeth
[listen -- 'Che ti scosta' (Act 2), DVD1 chapter 19, 2:05-3:23].
Copyright © 1 March 2006
Robert Anderson, London UK