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Some years later, Verdi was asked to add a ballet and restructure some of Macbeth for its Paris première. Before presenting it there in 1865, he made some major changes. As a result, the revised version that was presented by Arizona Opera on 12 October 2006, had musical elements from both the 1840s and the 1860s.

The banquet scene. Lori Phillips as Lady Macbeth, Louis Otey as Macbeth and Peter Volpe as Banquo's ghost. Photo © 2006 Tim Fuller
The banquet scene. Lori Phillips as Lady Macbeth, Louis Otey as Macbeth and Peter Volpe as Banquo's ghost. Photo © 2006 Tim Fuller

The production by Bernard Uzan seen in Phoenix's Symphony Hall had its première a few months earlier in Seattle. Designer Robert Israel's set was basically a gray box which helped project the voices into the auditorium but did little to depict the outdoor scenes. His costumes represented the time of the opera's première. At the post performance 'Talk Back', some audience members wondered why the singers were wearing costumes from The War Between the States.

Macbeth (Philip Joll) and Lady Macbeth (Brenda Harris) in the Arizona Opera production. Photo © 2006 Tim Fuller
Macbeth (Philip Joll) and Lady Macbeth (Brenda Harris) in the Arizona Opera production. Photo © 2006 Tim Fuller

Welsh baritone Phillip Joll was a very human Macbeth who wanted power but whose courage would have failed him without the support of his much less scrupulous wife. His powerful dark baritone and imposing physique made him a fine choice for this part.

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Copyright © 21 October 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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