Macbeth (1847) is certainly one of the most important in the series of operas, composed by Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) and based on Shakespeare’s legacy. It was conceived in the time when Verdi was still considered a relatively fresh composer, who dedicated himself predominantly to political themes within the so called Risorgimento movement. This work also marked an important turning point in his style, as he sensed that the Romantic opera had webbed itself into its own loop of tradition. Rather turning to the so called emotional realism, he then used music and language to draw separate characters - especially in his later versions of Macbeth -, and thus offered some new possibilities, which had been after all eagerly awaited by the then audience as well. Macbeth is an opera imbued by the themes about freedom and tyranny, and it is by all means a child of the turbulent Italian history. The literary material also offered to the composer many other intriguing themes, such as destiny and man’s free will. And, among other things he also posed a question, whether belief in the supernatural is just an excuse for a man’s passion for power and similarly to the great playwright, left numerous dilemmas open to individual interpretations. The opera’s stage direction will be signed by Jernej Lorenci, one of the leading Slovenian directors, who debuted on our stage with Gluck’s opera Orpheus and Eurydice.
Text: Tatjana Ažman