Archive for October, 2009

Lady Macbeth is bored: discuss

October 22, 2009


One of the great parts of presenting an opera as multi-layered as Verdi’s “Macbeth” is the discussions during the tea breaks at rehearsals! We shared a well-earned cuppa with our Lady Macbeth, Beatrice Danesfield, and discovered she has an unusual theory about her character’s motivation. Beatrice believes that Lady Macbeth’s behaviour possibly comes from boredom rather than ingrained evil.

She explains further: “Lady Macbeth is a sharper and brighter person than anyone else in the mediaeval castle. She is not manipulative by nature, but things don’t get done if she doesn’t set them off and see to the details. (Ed’s note: we know how that feels. don’t we ladies?)

“She is married to a man who could do so much better, if he only had a backbone and a vision for the future. She sees a marvellous opportunity occur – to become queen – and it is so easy to make it happen. The old king is already a guest in her castle, killing him is such an obvious thing to do, isn’t that what the prophecy implies anyway? Her husband hasn’t got he guts to do it, and he is so SLOW. So, she grabs the dagger, comes back in a few seconds, job done,  just wash the hands, and “opra anchessa andra in oblio”.

“Now, she finally has something important to do. She feels in control. The damp, grey castle is suddenly alive. The second murder brings her and her husband back together, as she remembers how she married him because of his courage: “Ah, ricognosco il tuo coraggio antico”. At last, they set off to do something together, like a marriage counsellor would have told them to do.”

Now, I’m not sure most marriage counsellors would sanction murder as relationship therapy, but we see the point, Beatrice!

To discover more about Lady Macbeth’s motivations, book your tickets NOW for Verdi’s “Macbeth” at St James Piccadilly this Saturday, 24 October 2009. There are still a few seats left at our special online booking price of £15, so snap yours up before they are all gone!

Macbeth cast get into character

October 16, 2009


We’ve been so busy with preparations for the forthcoming performance of Verdi’s “Macbeth”, we’ve had no time to blog! So, here’s an update from the rehearsal room.

The cast really enjoy working with each other, with the two tenors, Macbeth and Macduff, matched to perfection.  The strong, heroic tenor of John Upperton, currently singing in “Gianni Schicchi” at the Royal Opera House, is perfectly complemented by the youthfully innocent tones of our Malcolm, Yuri Sabatini.

Stefan Unterleithner, our Banco, arrived from Vienna just for our rehearsals. His young, resonant bass-baritone is so free and bold, it really is going to impress.

Beatrice Danesfield is getting more and more into the role of Lady Macbeth. She says she now knows exactly how Lady Macbeth thinks and why she does what she does. This is a bit worrying…

Robert Presley is Macbeth. He spins the velvety legato line quietly in his final aria – and you just know how much it hurts to see your life turn to nothing. Awesome in the traditional meaning of the word! However, we do wonder if he’s getting too much into the role sometimes – his favourite phrase at moments of crisis is “Where’s that dagger”!

We still have some “Macbeth” tickets left at our special online booking discount of 25% off, so click now and save!

English Opera Singers present Verdi’s “Macbeth” in concert

24th October 2009 at 7pm, St James Piccadilly

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