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Royal Opera - Macbeth

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10 hours ago, Scheherezade said:

Coming back to Macbeth, and wasn't it fabulous, did anyone else notice that the choreographer was the much-acclaimed Michael Keegan-Dolan?

 

It was the first time I'd seen it and it was a powerful piece.  Netrebko was just incredible.  Her first phrase and you could feel people sitting up around you and thinking 'Good god, what was that?'  Her power is breathtaking.

 

I would love to see it again as I feel its a piece that you need to spend time with.  I loved the darkness of the production and the symbolism was so clever and Pappano was on wonderful form.  I did worry about Macbeth being a tad well-upholstered rather than a lean, mean fighting machine but I soon forgot about that in the power of his singing.  Trouble is, it may be called Macbeth but when you have someone like Netrebko playing Lady M, others fade somewhat into the background.  Whatever, a fabulous evening and roll on Netrebko and Kaufmann next year.

 

PS:  I only noticed the choreographer reading the programme on the way home in the train.  He did a wonderful job.  I never doubted I was in a dark place.

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Netrebko truly was a powerhouse and utterly riveting, as you say, from the get go, although I was also really moved by Lucic, who actually managed to make me feel sorry for Macbeth by the end. And how refreshing to have a modern. minimalist set that  actually works for once - atmospheric, aesthetically pleasing and sympathetic to the music and the story at the heart of this dark, tragic tale.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Scheherezade said:

Netrebko truly was a powerhouse and utterly riveting, as you say, from the get go.

 

Yes! I was lucky enough to see her live three times this run - and then decided to go to an encore screening as well yesterday. It is really not often that a performance comes round which reminds me of the great singers who got me into opera some fifty years ago, so repeated trips seemed called for.

 

This is is the first time I have been able to do a direct comparison between the live show and the cinema transmission (and a real comparison too, as the encore was of the performance I had attended in the theatre on Wednesday). The most striking differences were the many details of the production I missed when seeing the show in the theatre. For example, the business with the witches and the letter (before Lady's entrance aria) had completely passed me by, even though I have seen this production a dozen times over the years (tending to sit to the left of the auditorium, which perhaps is part of the reason). And all the cast gained greatly from the transmission: their performances seemed more detailed, more interesting, more thoughtful.

 

All, that is, except for Netrebko: I was amazed to find that what Netrebko communicated on screen was what I had already experienced when seeing her live in the theatre. Perhaps that is another measure of her greatness: the ability to communicate the tiniest details right up to the Upper Slips. 

 

There are know alls who seem to take pleasure in finding fault with Anna Netrebko but I have never been disappointed. Lucky us who were there! 

 

 

Edited by Geoff
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7 minutes ago, Geoff said:

There are know alls who seem to take pleasure in finding fault with Anna Netrebko but I have never been disappointed. Lucky us who were there! 

 

I wasn't going to comment, but - in the know-alls' defence - I had some fairly major issues with her singing in this. Doesn't mean she's not fabulous, or wasn't the undisputed star of the evening, but I'd rather she'd made some different decisions.

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I have a recoding of Shirley Verrett singing the role (with Domingo as McDuff) her Verdi style is somewhat different.

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7 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

in the know-alls' defence - I had some fairly major issues with her singing in this. Doesn't mean she's not fabulous, or wasn't the undisputed star of the evening, but I'd rather she'd made some different decisions.

 

3 hours ago, MAB said:

I have a recoding of Shirley Verrett singing the role (with Domingo as McDuff) her Verdi style is somewhat different.

 

Sure! I have that recording (as well as Mara Zampieri and of course Callas 1952) and also heard both Grace Bumbry and Renata Scotto do well live. But none of those ladies is going to be singing the role at Covent Garden again any time soon. Comparing a living voice with a remembered or recorded past is certainly interesting but I'm also more than happy to celebrate what is in front of us at the moment.

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We also went, around a week ago. I have never seen the Shakespeare play, so it was very new for me. It was a powerful, emotional piece, and just like Scheherezade, I had sympathy for Lucic's Macbeth at the end (it sort of reminded me of the paranoia of the Nixon presidency!). We all thought Netrebko was breathtaking, by the way. I am so glad I went, and am really looking forward to Verdi's Falstaff in July.

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Having seen the second performance in the run with the full "A cast", I returned last night for the final performance of the run, with Anna Pirozzi's Lady Macbeth - definitely the most sympathetic I've ever encountered, and unfailingly musical with an actual pppp high D flat - and ex-JPYA David Junghoon Kim's beautifully-sing Macduff.  Absolutely loved it.

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Just been reading through the online comments on the ROH site and was amused to find this one (particularly as "wobble" features in some criticisms of Netrebko):-

 

 

image.jpeg

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I don't think wobble/lack thereof is the problem. My main complaints in *this role in particular* stem from what I see as overuse/overextension of her chest register, which is IMO the least interesting part of her voice.

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