Verdi’s Macbeth heads to Adelaide this September

State Opera South Australia has announced that it will present Giuseppe Verdi’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic Macbeth at Her Majesty’s Theatre in September this year.

This co-production with West Australian Opera, directed by Stuart Maunder, explores Macbeth’s themes of power, ambition and fate, highlighted by a score filled with Verdi’s signature emotional climax and heart- stopping moments—the result is a grand opera like no other.

Macbeth is a portrait in music of one of the world’s most power-hungry couples. A witches’ prophecy leads them down a murderous path, and their ruthless desire to ascend the throne results in unspeakable acts that ultimately drive them to madness.

Maunder said that the dark and twisted tale of Macbeth translates so spectacularly to the opera stage.

“No other composer can match the power, terror and emotional pull of Verdi. This 1847 version comes from a period where Verdi was at the height of his youthful powers.

“Big, bold and full of blood and thunder, our adaptation has stunning sets and lighting, with an all-star cast from across the globe,” he said.

Adelaide-born, internationally acclaimed Kate Ladner, famed of this character at the Buxton International Festival, returns home to take on the role of the blood thirsty Lady Macbeth. Her mastery of the vocal powers is unique, and her Lady Macbeth completely bucks the operatic trend of the damsel in distress, rather she is the antithesis of the fallen woman.

Ladner is joined on stage by baritone José Carbό, one of Australia’s most experienced Verdi performers, who last performed with State Opera in 2007 and is thrilled to be back in SA to play Macbeth.

“This is a truly harrowing story that brings epic themes to the fore, which are still relevant even today. There are elements and complexities of Macbeth that will resonate in some way with everyone and I’m looking forward to bringing him to life in Adelaide,” said Carbό.

“These are two of Australia’s most prominent Verdi specialists who perform the most charismatic couple of serial killers in English literature. They are desperate for power and control and will stop at nothing to get it…I can’t wait to share this performance with our Adelaide audience,” said Maunder.

Adelaide’s own Pelham Andrews plays the role of Banquo, alongside Paul O’Neill as the tragic Macduff. A State Opera Chorus of 40 will showcase malevolent witches, displaced refugees and powerful armies.

“The vocal power and scale of this epic chorus results in unforgettable spine-tingling moments. Verdi’s operatic interpretation of the story we all know through this score is transcendent,” said Maunder.

Having worked extensively across Europe and the UK, Finnegan Downie Dear makes his Australian operatic debut conducting the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Giuseppe Verdi’s grand opera Macbeth is filled with soaring arias, eerie incantations, chilling ensemble pieces and a set and lighting design created to enthrall your eyes as well as your ears.

It is a story that has haunted audiences through the ages. With a grand set and Game of Thrones inspired costumes, the array of characters and events are brought to life in the most dramatic of ways.

“This is Braveheart meets Game of Thrones. If you enjoyed La Traviata last year, you will be rocked to your core by the gripping, emotional experience of this grand opera, Macbeth,” said Maunder.

Macbeth premiered in Perth with a string of rave reviews and is set to hit Adelaide for a four-show season in September, with tickets on sale.

Where: Her Majesty’s Theatre
When: Thursday 7th September – Saturday 16th September 2023
Price: from $75
Booking: Here.

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