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Verdi: Macbeth (Royal Opera House) (Opus Arte: OABD7095D) [Blu-ray]   [Region Free]
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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.
"...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)
"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
CastSimon Keenlyside (Macbeth)Liudmyla Monastyrska (Lady Macbeth)Raymond Aceto (Banquo)
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Antonio PappanoStage Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Catalogue Number: OABD7095DDate of Performance: 2011Running Time: 170 minutesSound: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTSAspect Ratio: 1080i High Definition / 16:9Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, IT, ESLabel: 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
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Top Customer Reviews
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...Read more ›
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 ...Read more ›
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.
STAGECRAFT SACRIFICED TO FUN FAIR EFFECTS
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie opera is quite nice because; beautiful images and well recorded sounds, well-fitted stage settings and well-considered stage direction. Read morePublished on 17 Nov. 2013 by Ukiyoe