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Verdi: Macbeth (Royal Opera House) (Opus Arte: OABD7095D) [Blu-ray] [2012] [2010] [Region Free]

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Simon Keenlyside, Raymond Aceto, Liudmyla Monastryrska, Nigel Cliffe, Steven Ebel
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Jan. 2012
  • Run Time: 170 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006NO1SSA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,281 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Black, red, cream and gold are the colours that define Phyllida Lloyd's Royal Opera House staging of Verdi's robust, yet penetrating setting of Shakespeare's Scottish play. Manipulated by a whole coven of cunning, scarlet-turbanned witches, the characters often evoke figures in a splendid Gothic fresco. With Simon Keenlyside making his British debut, as an athletic, brooding Macbeth and Liudmyla Monastyrska as his Lady, both imperious and subtle, this performance, masterfully conducted by Antonio Pappano, goes far beyond mere sound and fury.

Press Reviews

" impressive company showcase, full of moments when chorus and orchestra are at full throttle. Whipped up by Antonio Pappano's baton, they sound truly thrilling." (The Guardian)
"He conducted Verdi's score with a tangible sense of drama and fire." (Seen and Heard International)
"Simon Keenlyside and Liudmyla Monastyrska give one of the finest portrayals of the couple that I have come across. In both cases what lifts them into the category of the very special is the way they manage to chart the character's development. Macbeth is a role that Keenlyside has grown into. He has the depth, the charisma and the energy that make the role complex and interesting; more than a great soldier laid low. His baritone is rounded and complex, just right to capture the many facets of the character's journey.
(Musicweb International)
"you know that Keenlyside is an accomplished lieder-singer by the dramatic precision in this phrase readings throughout (his Act 4 aria has such emotional transparency he almost breaks your heart)... Monastyrska unleashes such pent-up venom with her sharp-edged vocalism that the total package is almost too psychologically repulsive... the production is wonderfully atmospheric... Pappano is the most important artistic catalyst
Simon Keenlyside (Macbeth)
Liudmyla Monastyrska (Lady Macbeth)
Raymond Aceto (Banquo)
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Antonio Pappano

Stage Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Catalogue Number: OABD7095D
Date of Performance: 2011
Running Time: 170 minutes
Sound: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS
Aspect Ratio: 1080i High Definition / 16:9
Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, IT, ES
Label: Opus Arte


an impressive company showcase, full of moments when chorus and orchestra are at full throttle. Whipped up by Antonio Pappano's baton, they sound truly thrilling. --The Guardian

Keenlyside provides an imaginative realization of Macbeth's weak and increasingly fragmented character, sung with distinction. A bold and determined musical realization. --Opera, Apr'12

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This is my favourite opera of Verdi's first phase, his 10th to be precise... However, the revisions of 1865 is probably the reason why it doesn't sound much less Verdi-ish than his later works.

Firstly, - YAY!!!! NO MACHINE GUNS AND STUFF ON THE STAGE.... This is a very down-to-earth as well as a truly modern production of Macbeth without resorting to cheap symbolism that has started becoming a little trying on a home video viewer who loves to watch a disc over and over.... Sets though bordering on minimal, are quite very adequate. The video is just superb and the sound recording follows suit.

Keenlyside and Monastyrska according to me, make a perfect Macbeth pair... unlike many other productions where the baritone overpowers the soprano to an extent. I prefer Thomas Hampson's (or for that matter Tcherniakov's)voice per se, but we have in Keenlyside, a very sensitive lyrical type of a Baritone, who, by the virtue of his rather softer more subtle delivery of text and voice, plays a brilliant Macbeth to the rather powerful (voiced) delivery of Monastyrska as Lady Macbeth. I have no qualms in proclaiming that Monastyrska is MY type of Lady Macbeth - very manipulative chillingly cold-blooded woman to rule over a powerful but weak-minded individual like Macbeth - never mind if she sings a little sharp at times. I personally feel that Hampson/ Monastyrska hypothetically may not have pulled it off so well.

We are also blessed with an excellent Banquo (Aceto), but the rest of the cast of individual singers though quite adequate, are not really in the class of the main three.
Although the witches do a great job, somehow, their costumes could have been different, and if they wanted the turbans, perhaps beards too could have been in order...
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If the concept behind Phyllida Lloyd's direction at the Royal Opera House production of Verdi's Macbeth (revived here under director Harry Fehr) isn't immediately obvious and doesn't seem totally coherent, it's perhaps because the marriage of Verdi and Shakespeare itself in this earlier opera of the composer (unlike the magnificent later adaptations Otello and Falstaff) isn't the most consistent or coherent either. Lloyd's production however remains faithful to Verdi's imperfect interpretation of the work, working closely to mirror the tone of the production with what Simon Keenlyside, in an accompanying interview on the DVD and Blu-ray, vividly describes as the "black tides" of Verdi's score. Partly, that's mirrored in the black, white and red colour schemes, but there's also a sense that the production wants to put all the dark violence, all the horror and its consequences right up there on the stage also.

Here the true nature of the violence is made ever present, and the full extent of its consequences made real. The reign of blood that is embarked upon is visible throughout here and no amount of hand-washing will completely erase it. The stage is often littered with the bodies of Macbeth's crimes that usually take place off-stage, and since all this is so vividly described in Verdi's score, why shouldn't it? Directing the orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano seems determined also to tease out some greater subtleties in the score that aren't really there (although the
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There are some good reasons to buy this disc; one of them is for the laughs in Act Three. Macbeth goes back to the witches for more sooth. They call up the First Spirit. "Arise from the depths," they wail. There's a flash of lightning, a clap of thunder, and, I kid you not, Tin Man, complete with a little chimney on his helmet, comes up out of the floor. Jonathan Fisher is credited in the role but he doesn't actually appear on stage. Apparently, at the dress rehearsal he tried on the Tin Man costume and said to the director, "You must be bloody joking. I'm not going on in that." Consequently, Mr Fisher sings the part off-stage, and the guy in the Oz costume is somebody unknown and devoid of self-respect they picked up off the street.

The Second Apparition is also voiced from off-stage--just as well and necessarily, since it's a foetus. One of the witches suddenly goes into labour, and her sisters drag it out of her, ectopic and twitching, three or four months premature judging by the wrinkles. Due to the video editing, it's not clear whether they then cut the umbilical and toss the slimy little handful into the cauldron's hellish brew, or stuff it back up the hag's uterus in the hope of bringing it to full term.

There are laughs elsewhere, but they are mostly unfunny examples of how a production needs to depart only a few degrees from the composer's intention to screw things up.

In Macbeth, as in his other operas, Verdi provided his characters with musical support for their entrances and exits--that is, short orchestral pieces to walk them on and off the stage.
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