LA Opera Mounts a New MACBETH Starring Plácido Domingo

Macbeth - LA Opera

Placido Domingo as Macbeth with Ekaterina Semenchuk as Lady Macbeth and Roberto Tagliavini as Banquo. Photo by Karen Almond

Plácido Domingo stars in the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth, opening September 17 downtown at the Music Center, with Ekaterina Semenchuk joining him as Lady Macbeth. The brand new LA Opera production is directed by Darko Tresnjak, Tony Award-winning director of A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love & Murder, who previously directed The Ghosts of Versailles for LA Opera in 2015. Macbeth is conducted by LA Opera’s Music Director, James Conlon.

Of the opera, Conlon says: “Compared to Otello and Falstaff—Verdi’s late-career masterpieces, similarly drawn from Shakespeare—his Macbeth seems less consequential. But that is only because we judge it by the measure of a standard set by the composer himself. Viewed in comparison with the composer’s contemporaries, and with many of his owns works of the period, it looms large. Had Verdi died or ceased to compose after Macbeth, it would stand today as a towering work of the Italian repertoire.”

He goes on to explain. “[There is] one major innovation that exemplifies the radical nature of his vision: Macbeth is a loveless opera, ‘un opera senza amore.’ George Bernard Shaw’s adage that ‘Italian Romantic operas are about a tenor and a soprano who want to make love, and a baritone who won’t let them’ is utterly unseated. No compromise was to be made to the expectations of the public to provide a stereotypic cast of characters in each vocal category. There is, in fact, no antagonist. The only desire expressed in this opera is the desire for power. There is no battle of equals, only an inner conflict with arrogance and insatiable ambition, and the corrupting lust for power. It has also been observed that Verdi’s opera is a tragedy for the royal couple, but a comedy for the witches.”

LA Opera - Macbeth

Fight director Steve Rankin in rehearsal choreographing a pack of sword-wielding witch-dancers. Photo by Karen Almond

LA Opera - Macbeth

A video crew will shoot one of the king’s heads and the green color of the backdrop, and on dancer Jean Michelle Sayeg’s legs, will be ‘dropped out’ digitally to create a supernatural floating head effect. Photo by Larry Ho

LA Opera - Macbeth

Singers rehearse with James Conlon before moving to the stage for dress and tech rehearsals. Photo by Larry Ho

Click here for more behind-the-scenes photos of LA Opera’s new production.

LA Opera: MACBETH

September 17 – October 16, 2016
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets and info: www.laopera.org

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: LA Opera Mounts a New MACBETH Starring Plácido Domingo | The Shakespeare Standard

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