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Verdi, G. (1813-1901)


Composed 1846-1847; revised 1864-1865.
First performed March 14, 1847; April 21, 1865.
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave (in Itarian),
after Shakespeare.

A Summary of gMacbethh

Act 1
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 witchesf prediction has come true.
Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband, and knows the witchesf 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.

Act 2
Macbeth attempts to kill both Banquo and his son. But, Banquofs 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.

Act 3
Macbeth visits the witches again. The witches give him some prediction, for example, he should be cautious of Macduff. Macbeth kills Macdufffs wife and children.

Act 4
Lady Macbeth couldnft 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.

A Comment on gMacbethh

This opera, gMacbeth,h is composed by Giuseppe Verdi. He composed the first opera to be based on a Shakespeare drama. The originals of gMacbeth,h gOthello,h and gFalstaffh that are composed by Verdi are Shakespearefs dramas. Verdi likes Shakespeare dramas, he put the complete works of Shakespeare by his bed. After Verdi succeeded with his opera, gNabucco,h he worked even harder. Then, he visits a hot spring resort, and deals with composition of his new opera, gMacbeth,h 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 witchesf 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 operafs 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, isnft 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, gPieta, rispetto, amore (Compassion, honour, love).h

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