Verdi’s Shakespearean Tragedy Macbeth on Great Performances at the Met, February 1; Željko Lučić and Anna Netrebko Headline
By: Ellis Nassour
Verdi and Francesco Maria Piave’s adaptation in Italian of Shakespeare’s Scottish thriller Macbeth comes to Great Performances at the Met with a modern-dress production. The cast is trebkotteaded by Serbian baritone Željko Lučić and acclaimed Russian soprano Anna Netrebko in her North American debut as the fatally ambitious Lady Macbeth. German bass René Pape is Banquo, and Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja is the heroic Macduff. It airs February 1 at noon on PBS – 12:30 locally on THIRTEEN. Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili will host.
Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi conducts his first performances of the opera, the 2007 production directed by former Royal Shakespeare Company A.D. Adrian Noble.
Of Ms. Netrebko’s performance, The New York Times raved: "Her sound was plush, yet smoky; her voice powerful, yet unforced … incisive, exacting … with gleaming top notes. She is a soprano with star power in the best sense and possesses a charismatic expressivity that pervades every element of her performance."
NY Classical Review observed that Lučić gave a "dramatically compelling and vocally nuanced performance … His final, rage-fueled call to battle was harrowing."
Peter Gelb is executive producer for the Met. Gary Halvorson directed the telecast, with Jay David Saks as music producer.
Great Performances at the Met, with Bill O’Donnell as series producer; David Horn as exec producer, is.a presentation of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Corporate support is provided by Toll Brothers home builders, M. Beverly and Robert G. Bartner, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public TV viewers.