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on January 19, 2022
This is the page for the performance on January 19, 2022.
Music Giuseppe Verdi Text Francesco Maria Piave & Andrea Maffei
→ Melodramma in vier Akten

Cast 19.01.2022

Conductor Giampaolo Bisanti
Production Barrie Kosky
Szenische Einstudierung Sylvie Döring
Bühne und Licht Klaus Grünberg
Costume Design Klaus Bruns
Dramaturge Claus Spahn
Macbeth Luca Salsi
Banco Roberto Tagliavini
Lady Macbeth Anna Pirozzi
Macduff Freddie De Tommaso
Malcolm Hiroshi Amako
Ein Arzt Ilja Kazakov
Kammerfrau Aurora Marthens


Macbeth and his wife conquer the royal throne with several murders. Evil forebodings, fears and feelings of guilt gradually lead to the couple's complete ruin. Macbeth marked the beginning of Giuseppe Verdi's artistic exploration of William Shakespeare's work. Shakespeare's Macbeth - first performed in 1611 - inspired Verdi to write a work that was new at the time; musically, he broke new ground and ventured into many stylistic experiments. His tenth opera thus marks a departure from the Italian musical theatre tradition in many respects. Verdi himself did not demand from the interpreter of Lady Macbeth a simple, beautiful singing, but an expressive tonal language that does not stop at hollow, even ugly tones. 


First Act

The witches tell what they are up to.

Macbeth and Banco, the king’s generals, come from a battle. The women salute Macbeth, the Lord of Glamis, prophetically as Lord of Cawdor and then as King of Scotland. Banco also wants to know his future. He is to become the father of kings. Soldiers announce the appointment of Macbeth as Lord of Cawdor. Macbeth shudders at the thought of the violence with which he could carry out the second prophecy. Banco sees through his temptation.

The witches expect Macbeth to visit them again soon.

A letter from her husband tells Lady Macbeth about the encounter with the witches. She knows his ambition, but doubts his willingness to use violence.

She is determined to get rid of his inhibitions. A servant announces the imminent arrival of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth puts all of her hopes on the night the King will next spend under her roof. Before the arrival of the king and his retinue, Macbeth and the Lady find time to exchange plans.

Grand Scene
Macbeth visions a bloody dagger leading him to the king’s bedroom. At the agreed signal, he infiltrates the King’s chamber.

After the murder, the completely distraught Macbeth refused to enter the room again to slip the murder weapon onto the sleeping guards. Lady Macbeth does it. There is a knock at the gate. Lady Macbeth takes her husband away with her. Macduff and Banco discover the murdered victim and sound the alarm.

Finale I
All rush in cursing the murderer and appealing for God’s swift judgment.

Second Act

Duncan’s son Malcolm has fled to England. He is considered to be his father’s murderer. Macbeth is king. To prevent the prophecy that Banco will become the father of kings, he decides to kill Banco and his son Fleance.

Lady Macbeth is intoxicated by her power over life and death.

Murderers hired by Macbeth ambush Banco and his son.

Grand Scene
Banco, who despite his suspicions accepted Macbeth’s invitation, is murdered. Fleance escapes.

Finale II
The new royal couple are hosting a party. Lady Macbeth sings a drinking song. One of the murderers reports Banco’s death and Fleance’s escape to Macbeth. When Macbeth tries to sit on a vacant chair, Banco’s ghost sits on him. Lady Macbeth and the guests do not see him. The ghost disappears. Macbeth has the drinking song repeated. Banco’s ghost reappears. A distraught Macbeth decides to revisit the witches. The lady admonishes his fear of ghosts. The festive guests observe their ruler’s breakdown. Macduff, a Scottish nobleman, plans to leave the country.

Third Act

The witches are at work.

Grand Scene
Macbeth wants to know his fate. The witches summon the spirits. They prophesy: Macbeth should beware Macduff; no one born to a woman can wound Macbeth; until the forest of Birnam moves against him, Macbeth is invincible. He then wants to know whether Banco’s gender will rule. Eight kings appear, a mirror is carried by the last one: Banco. Laughing, he shows the long line of his crowned offspring. Macbeth passes out.

Lady Macbeth receives a report of the apparitions. Macbeth and his wife will destroy Macduff and Banco’s families.

Fourth Act

A refugee camp on the border between Scotland and England. Large parts of the Scottish population are fleeing from the tyranny of Macbeth.

Macduff thinks of his wife and children that he left in Scotland. Macbeth has murdered her. Macduff wants to take God’s vengeance. Malcolm is on his way to Scotland with an English force. In the forest of Birnam, he orders the soldiers to camouflage themselves with branches. The refugees follow the army.

Grand Scene
A doctor and a chambermaid watch the sleepwalking Lady Macbeth. Repeatedly she tries to remove an imagined blood stain on her hand.

Macbeth senses death is at hand. He is without hope. The maid reports the death of the queen. Soldiers announce the approach of Birnam Forest. Macbeth calls for victory or death.

Macduff, who was once cut from his mother’s womb, kills Macbeth.

Macbeth’s End
Macbeth is defeated »cursed by God and men«.

Victory Anthem
Malcolm is proclaimed King of Scotland.

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