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  • Your Reaction: What did you think of Verdi's Macbeth?

Your Reaction: What did you think of Verdi's Macbeth?

Audience responses and press reviews of The Royal Opera's production of Verdi's masterpiece.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

28 March 2018 at 4.27pm | 30 Comments

Press reviews:

Independent ★★★★★
Guardian ★★★★
Financial Times ★★★★
What's On Stage ★★★★
Times ★★★★
The Stage ★★★
Spectator (no stars, positive)

What did you think of Macbeth?
Add your thoughts in the comments below.

Macbeth runs until 10 April 2018. Tickets are still available.

The opera will be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 4 April. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, Aud Jebsen, Mr and Mrs Baha Bassatne, Spindrift Al Swaidi, Rena and Sandro Lavery and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and an anonymous donor.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

28 March 2018 at 4.27pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Phyllida Lloyd, macbeth, Production, verdi, your reaction

This article has 30 comments

  1. Stephen Ratcliffe responded on 28 March 2018 at 10:05pm Reply

    Fabulous performance on Sunday. Superb cast and magnificent chorus and orchestra. Loved every minute. Worth waiting three years to see Ms Netrebko again. Loved her husband too and hope to see him in bigger role soon.

  2. Mrs Giulia Breakwell responded on 29 March 2018 at 12:06am Reply

    I shall be at the cinema on 4th April! Judging by the above comments I will not be leaving after half an hour!! Unlike Carmen which is the only time I have ever left early .

    • Marinaiki responded on 31 March 2018 at 1:44pm

      As did I - mostly cos singing so sub par (1st cast) as well as an abysmal prod. Thank God we had Semiramide & Salome to keep the bar at world class. Now looking forward hugely to Macbeth on 3th

  3. Tom responded on 29 March 2018 at 1:52am Reply

    Today, some of us could not even say a word regarding superficial details to improve what we had at the ROH stage; opera came back to life.

    Today, some of us say thank you to Pappano because we know from his insights that he lives music with passion and want to pass it to us through sounds, and he certainly does. Thank you.

    Today, some of us say thank you to absolutely all the stunning singers, chorus, children and even to the considerate and lovely witches who did their witchery even as carefully as they could with the sticks and knew above all that Verdi should be listened and the art in the music flowed. Thank you.

    Today, some of us say thank you to the director who has achieved something simple and spectacular at the same time, and that by doing his job properly this way, has not forgotten that the magical music and plot were already created as they just are and must be by Maestros as Verdi and Shakespeare hence gave us what we paid for within an appropriate taste and atmosphere. Thank you.

    Today, some of us say thank you to all of you as you brought back the goosebumps, tension, passion, tragedy and magic involved in real Opera. Thank you

    And this is all we ask for after all; because we do not need nor deserve stupidity at the stage, gorilla dresses, ridiculous laughing, interruptions, constant noise and irrelevant dancing, today, some of us can say again thank you to the Royal Opera House to give us this Macbeth to redeem. Thank you.

    This is what some of us do expect from you, please give us more of this medicine, and please, do not ever allow music and real art to be again smashed to pieces shamefully as we suffered recently before this great production

    THANK YOU ALL for this stunning evening

  4. Michael de Navarro responded on 29 March 2018 at 3:06pm Reply

    It was a privilege to be there. Thrilling conducting and a very fine cast (and chorus) in an intelligent production led by a truly great performance from Anna Netrebko, one of perhaps a dozen or so in the 57 years I have been going to ROH. Star quality in every sense. If ROH aspires still to be one of the world's great opera houses, that is the sort of level that they should aim to achieve more often . Delighted to see Anna is returning for Forza next year. 3 years was much too long to wait. Looking forward to seeing it again in the cinema next Wednesday

  5. Janet Rennie responded on 29 March 2018 at 9:45pm Reply

    One of the best ever evenings I have spent at ROH. Both Netrebko and Lucic are at the top of their game. Thrilling and precise command of the material. The set was simple but very effective, also imaginative. We have watched this pair many times on the Met Opera website version but this was so much better - better paced, better use of the chorus. I doubt I will ever see a better production and the experience will stop me wanting to see this again for some time. Pappano was fantastic.

  6. P. P. responded on 30 March 2018 at 12:01am Reply

    I'm just a casual opera fan and can't claim to be able to judge the nuances and technicalities of the singing, but to me Anna Netrebko's performance felt like nothing I have seen in the ROH before. There is just something about her — the stage presence perhaps — that absolutely captivated me from the very first minute to the last! This was the first time I have seen her singing live and I will try to go and see her one more time before the end of this run.
    Having said that, it's not just Netrebko. As the previous commentator mentioned, the whole cast and chorus were wonderful. This truly felt like some of the best singing the opera world has to offer. The kind of singing you would expect to hear at one of the great opera houses.

  7. Geoff responded on 30 March 2018 at 9:45am Reply

    Yes, this is the real deal (at last). Going back twice. At least.

  8. Michael responded on 31 March 2018 at 1:51am Reply

    No soprano in the world right now commands the stage like Anna Netrebko.
    It was a complete priviledge to witness her Lady Macbeth. Extremely strong cast, Pappano on fire with the ROH orchestra and chorus at their best.
    So unfortunate that the ROH never managed to bring her incredible Leonora to London.
    An exceptional evening of singing.
    Looking forward to go back next week on the 04th of april.
    This is what we expect from the ROH.
    It's not that complicated great singers, great conducting and a production that make sense.
    Simple and yet it appears to be incredibly difficult for the ROH at certain time to achieve.

  9. peterstephen responded on 31 March 2018 at 4:26pm Reply

    I was there on Wed 28/03/18 and was still buzzing hours after the performance. Wonderful sense of anticipation in the Paul Hamlyn Hall which came to fruition at the end of the opera and had me leaping to my feet for the first time in recognition of the glorious achievement of the night. No distractions- just world class talent giving everything. Congratulations to all concerned.

  10. Roger Taylor responded on 31 March 2018 at 11:54pm Reply

    We have just come from a memorable evening at the ROH. This was the first time we had heard Anna Netrebko live, and her performance lived up to the high expectations generated by previous reviews. Her voice has really evolved over the last five years or so. She has an amazing stage presence. Zeljko Lucic, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and Yusif Eyvazof were great too. The production demonstrated a suitably gloomy atmosphere with a lot of attention to detail. Antonio Papanno brought out the drama in the music to match the libretto. This is a really great opera, combining the skills of Britain's greatest playwright and one of Italy's greatest opera composers, and hard to believe it was only rarely performed between the late 1860s and the 1940s.

  11. Karen McCarthy responded on 31 March 2018 at 11:58pm Reply

    Loved the performance of Macbeth this evening. Anna Netrebko was wonderful.

  12. Trevor Lynes responded on 1 April 2018 at 11:45am Reply

    I just echo Domingo's comments about Anna Netrebko. He said that she could lead troops and is a wonderful colleague. I loved the Met performance but this production is just as good with fine performances by all the cast. Anna is mesmeric !!!!

  13. John responded on 4 April 2018 at 7:28am Reply

    Disappointing the wonderful ballet was cut. Probably Verdi's best orchestral music. I would rather have kept the ballet and lost the trite 'Macbeth death scene' which Verdi himself cut from the revised version.

  14. Nick Jackson responded on 4 April 2018 at 4:07pm Reply

    I enjoyed this production very much. The wonderful singing my the soloists and ensemble as well as the orchestra made it memorable. The staging was minimal which seemed to suit the dramatic action. All except for the weird revolving golden cage which just detracted from the performances taking place inside.

  15. Mary Kinneavy responded on 5 April 2018 at 12:45am Reply

    Watching this amazing production in Barnard Castle, County Durham and feel the awesome power of Verdi’s unique music... I thought Banquo terrific in deliberation n intense dramatic moment before death. I thought the gilded cage with throne strong simple symbol throughout... it worked.
    Thankyou... wonderful to have this access to Opera at its best... Mary

  16. Margaret Taylor responded on 5 April 2018 at 10:33am Reply

    Brilliant production. Singing wonderful from everyone but especially Anna Netrebko whose richness of tone and range sent shivers down my spine.

    Absolutely irritated by interviews that added nothing to the experience. The starting of every comment with absolutely whether it absolutely appropriate or not had the audience giggling. One is not subjected to this inanity at the Opera House. Do you believe theatre audiences are more dense? I except Pappano's contribution from this criticism as he is always enlightening.
    It is a wonderful thing that performances like this are made available to audiences outside London.

  17. Sandy Foster responded on 5 April 2018 at 4:59pm Reply

    Enjoyed Macbeth, good staging. I did not understand at the end who the 2 boys in school uniform were at the end?

  18. Ann O'Shaughnessy responded on 5 April 2018 at 5:06pm Reply

    I watched this marvellous production at the opera house last night and cannot find words adequate to describe my enjoyment. I will not single out any one person or group because it was the coming together of all the elements that made this a sublime experience. A huge thank you to all concerned

  19. Annabel Charles responded on 5 April 2018 at 7:05pm Reply

    I thought this was sensational - the music, singing, set, costumes - everything. I have seen all the screened operas this year - and think this was the one I enjoyed most. It's partly that Macbeth is a terrific story, of course - but also that everything came together in this production. As others have said, Netrebko was electrifying as Lady Macbeth - but Lucic was also excellent - and there were standout moments from D'Arcelangelo as Banquo and Eyvazov as Macduff too. Special praise for the chorus and the children as well.

    I really enjoy the interviews and other 'extras' you get when you go to a live screening. I find Clemency Burton-Hill a knowledgeable and engaging presenter - and the interviews provide insights into the history or staging of a show, what it's like to perform a part or how decisions are taken at ROH. It's the expertise, enthusiasm and quirkiness of the people interviewed I like (don't think I am particularly dense - but perhaps that's why!). Antonio Pappano's snippets about the music are wonderfully illuminating and always enhance my appreciation of the music.

    I am so grateful to have access to world class opera and ballet in my local cinema. Thank you to everyone involved.

  20. Michael Wadsworth responded on 5 April 2018 at 10:58pm Reply

    Watched in a local cinema last night. Only the second time I've ever seen this opera. I can no longer access the Amphitheatre, so thank goodness for cinema streaming. I agree with other commentators: one of the best ever opera productions, stagings and performances. But Tony Pappano's departure will be one of London's greatest artistic losses in years.

  21. Celia A Lewis responded on 6 April 2018 at 8:42am Reply

    Stunning performance. The set worked although I prefer a more traditional setting but the whole opera was electrifying. Anna and Lucic were just amazing. Love Verdi and love his version of Macbeth which just makes the whole story more vivid. Pappano is so passionate and it shows in his lead. To those who have missed it - just go for a wonderful evening of superb music and drama

  22. Simon Willis responded on 8 April 2018 at 1:11am Reply

    I've been coming to Covent Garden since the early 70's and I would have to say that Anna Netrebko's singing (both at the cinema relay on Wednesday and watching her live tonight) ranks as one the greatest Verdi performances I have seen there - up there with Domingo, Christoff , Carreras . The thrilling accuracy of the singing, the lack of wobble , the low notes - especially those . Absolutely amazing....I should add that it was an incredibly strong cast all round magnificently conducted .

  23. Anthony SALIBA responded on 10 April 2018 at 7:59am Reply

    Illustrious singers/actors; sombre scenes, vivid character images, universal director of the orchestra, remarkable opera shrine of a theatre, a feast of serious opera entertainment. PROSIT from Malta.

  24. Ekaterina N responded on 10 April 2018 at 3:44pm Reply

    One of the most memorable evenings (31 March) in nearly 20 years of opera at ROH. Anna Netrebko was sensational. We had seen this production before but it did not create such an impression as this revival with its wonderful cast. Orchestra, chorus, Maestro Pappano were all superb. If only we could have more of such outstanding performances!

  25. Alan responded on 11 April 2018 at 8:39am Reply

    Congratulations and thank you to all at Royal Opera for a terrific performance of Macbeth on 10 April. The evening proved to be an “amazing” experience and introduction to opera for my son. He’s now a convert, well done!

  26. Patrick Hagglund responded on 11 April 2018 at 11:14am Reply

    After the disappointment of the ghastly production of From the House of the Dead recently, we were much pleased to attend the performance of Macbeth at ROH on Wednesday. The production is a good one without any obvious attempt to change the context of the play. The witches were too numerous and omnipresent, but this did not cause too much distraction. The drama was maintained at a chilling level - quite appropriate for this harrowing tale. The orchestra and the singers were first class, even if Netrebko has developed a distinct wobble. The newish darkness in her voice suited the character and her acting was as fine as ever. All the other singing was fine, especially Lucic and d'Arcangelo with Mr Netrebko (Eyvazov) giving a fine if light rendering of Ah, la paterna mano. All in all, a ROH triumph so so different to the Janacek of a few weeks ago. Dump the regietheater specialists! More like this please!
    [Note: I wrongly posted this response previously in the cinema section - we attended the live performance in the House]

  27. Margarete Rolle responded on 11 April 2018 at 6:05pm Reply

    A fantastic night at the opera (in Worcester).
    Anna Netrebko was magnificent, D'Arcelangelo was excellent and so was Pappano and the orchestra. Was not entirely convinced by Lučić and Eyvazov. Thank goodness the production did not sink into the usual depths of regie opera by sensationalizing the plot with gratuitous sex and violence. The interval chat and insights from Pappano were a bonus. Many congratulations ROH.

  28. Martin Russ responded on 22 April 2018 at 11:28am Reply

    Having slated ROH for the awful productions of Carmen and From the House of the Dead (notwithstanding excellent musicianship), this Macbeth was very good in all respects. Thank you.

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