- TV Movie
- 2h 20m
Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders... Read allMacbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.
I thought the production was well done visually, especially in the transitions. I understand if some may find the symbolism hard to handle, I myself felt there were one or two instances where it didn't quite work, but I found it interesting on the whole personally. The sets are evocative and the costumes are adequate too particularly with the chorus in the final act, perhaps done to show how they felt about Macbeth's rule, and I found that an effective touch. The picture quality and camera work also impress, and the sound likewise if occasionally a little boxed.
And in regards to the staging, mostly it's fine. The witches are genuinely scary, the banquet scene was robust with Lady Macbeth portrayed as the life of the party and the sleepwalking scene is wonderfully haunting. The only real scene actually to strike a false chord with me was Banco's murder, the whole touch with the typewriter came across as anachronistic and Banco getting killed by what looked like drag queens came across as odd.
Musically, the production is wonderful. The orchestra are perhaps a little smaller an orchestra than you would expect, but they really give their all into the performance and play with an exciting and powerful sound. Franz Welser Most's conducting is very tight as well, and you couldn't have asked for a better or more involved chorus.
The performances are all round excellent. Although I do like Thomas Hampson, I initially did have some reservations, about his light high-baritone voice being suited to such a role. However, he is really outstanding here, his voice is darker and more virile than it usually is and it sounded great, and dramatically this is the best I've seen him. There is nothing mannered about his performance, it is all very compelling and intelligent, especially in the lamentation scene.
He has a perfect leading lady in Paoletta Maroccu. I had seen Maroccu before in a very recent Cavalleria Rusticana and wasn't really impressed I have to admit. Here she is a Lady Macbeth that is both sexy and frightening, dramatically like Hampson she is riveting especially in the sleepwalking scene. Vocally it is a big voice and used musically, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a beautiful voice, there is some harshness to it and she occasionally can get squally under pressure. I will give some credit though, there is a certain evilness in her vocal expression.
Roberto Scandiuzzi is an outstanding Banco, certainly one of the better ones since Ghiaurov. He is a gifted actor, and while his vocal production is not quite as focused as his Fiesco in 1991's Simon Boccanegra, a role he really excels it, there is a certain beauty and warmth to it that you don't mind so much.
And it was a pleasure to see the I think underrated Luis Lima. He is not at his best here, some of his singing has a tendency to sound pushed with the odd nasal-sounding top note, but overall it is a very expressive, dignified and moving performance such as in his lamentation for his family. In conclusion, very enjoyable. 9/10 Bethany Cox
- Jan 21, 2012