Home > Macbeth
|Composed 1846-1847; revised 1864-1865.
First performed March 14, 1847; April 21, 1865.
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave (in Itarian),
In 1040, in Scotland, Macbeth and Banquo who serve the
king of Scotland, Duncan, meet a group of witches in the wilderness. The
witches tell Macbeth that Macbeth will be Lord of Cawdor, and will be King of
Scotland. The witches tell Banquo that Banquo will be the father of kings.
Then, a messenger arrives in front of two men. He communicates the news that
Lord of Cawdor died, and King of Scotland has made Macbeth the successor. The
witches’ prediction has come true.
Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband, and knows the witches’ prediction.
That night just, King of Scotland stays at the castle of Macbeth. Lady
Macbeth persuades her husband to kill King of Scotland, and Macbeth eventually
stabs King to death with a dagger. The blood of King sticks to the hands
of Lady Macbeth, too.
Macbeth attempts to kill both Banquo and his son. But,
Banquo’s son succeeds to run away. Macbeth inaugurates as King of Scotland, but
he is frightened of the ghost of Banquo. One of subordinates, Macduff, looks
this reality and decides to leave the country.
Macbeth visits the witches again. The witches give him
some prediction, for example, he should be cautious of Macduff. Macbeth kills
Macduff’s wife and children.
Lady Macbeth couldn’t wash her hands that are sticked by blood. She dies
in a frenzy of fear.
The troops of Macduff and the children of the predecessor of King carry
the attack to Macbeth. They succeed to kill Macbeth and to take revenge.
|This opera, “Macbeth,” is composed by Giuseppe Verdi. He composed the
first opera to be based on a Shakespeare drama. The originals of “Macbeth,”
“Othello,” and “Falstaff” that are composed by Verdi are Shakespeare’s
dramas. Verdi likes Shakespeare dramas, he put the complete works of Shakespeare
by his bed. After Verdi succeeded with his opera, “Nabucco,” he worked
even harder. Then, he visits a hot spring resort, and deals with composition
of his new opera, “Macbeth,” seriously. The world premiere of this opera
was a great success, Verdi was called up to the stage thirty eight times.
The leading character of this opera, Macbeth, was an actual person. Macbeth
reigns Scotland from 1041 to 1057. In the opera, Macbeth is described as
a weak person. He wavers between hope and fear over the witches’ predictions.
And, he is upset by the murder he commits. However, I think that Macbeth
in this opera is more humanly than the actual Macbeth. Verdi and Shakespeare
created the character to be greater than the actual person.
One of this opera’s characteristics is the dark world, for example, witch,
negative prophecies, and murder. Verdi gives directions for maintaining
utmost dark stage. And, the leading character, Macbeth, isn’t sung by
a tenor. In fact, there was not excellent tenor in the opera house in the
world premiere of this opera. Verdi gives this title role to Briton. Briton
can express deeply, and can convey his feelings to an audience. Macbeth
sings the famous aria, “Pieta, rispetto, amore (Compassion, honour, love).”
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
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Debussy, C. (1862-1918)
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