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

Audience responses to The Royal Opera's live cinema relay of Verdi's Shakespearean opera.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

4 April 2018 at 10.45pm | 44 Comments

What did you think of Macbeth live in cinemas?
Let us know via the comments below.

The next live cinema relay of the 2017/18 Season will be The Royal Ballet’s Manon on 3 May 2018. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list. 

If you experienced technical issues during this live cinema relay, please email details to

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

4 April 2018 at 10.45pm

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

This article has 44 comments

  1. Claudine Micallef responded on 4 April 2018 at 11:32pm Reply

    Watched it from Malta.. Absolutely fantastic!

  2. Lusia McAnna responded on 4 April 2018 at 11:39pm Reply

    Absolutely amazing performance that had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. Still tingling! it was truly awesome. Seen at Live Screening in Barnard Castle at The Witham.

  3. Mrs Wilcox responded on 4 April 2018 at 11:46pm Reply

    Time stood still for audiences to be fully engaged with this enthralling production, electrifying conducting and magnificent playing, moving, dramatic, technically breathtaking singing, all unforgettable.

  4. Valerie Sheffield responded on 4 April 2018 at 11:47pm Reply

    Just returned frim watching Macbeth. Blown away by this wonderful, powerful Opera. The singing was fantastic. Anna Netrobko
    was a superb Lady Macbeth as was Macbeth. I cannot praise this production of Macbeth highly enough. Looking forward to next season. Stage to Screen is ideal for those of us who cannot get to London easily. Long may they continue.

    • Mary M O'Sullivan responded on 5 April 2018 at 12:22pm

      I agree with everything Valerie said and just to add my own comments I was blown away it was absolutely fabulous not a weak link every aspect was superb. I love Verdi and Shakespeare and what a combination. Verdi for me is the king music Melody etc. There was a comment from a John Mathers I could not agree with any of his comments but he is entitled to his as I am to mine. Looking forward to ballets Manon and Swan Lake I have my tickets. Thanks again ROH

  5. Mr Barry Bernstein responded on 4 April 2018 at 11:47pm Reply

    Outstanding cast with Anna Netrebko
    giving a terrific performance. We watched
    it in the Vue -North Finchley. The volume
    was "upped " after the short pause. I don't
    know if this generally happened. The
    difference was like sitting at the back of
    the stalls and sitting in the front row. Maybe something in between would of been better.

  6. Vanessa responded on 4 April 2018 at 11:52pm Reply

    Thank you a million times for sharing this with the world. I watched in Hamburg, Germany. This was an unforgettable night

  7. Mrs Giulia Breakwell responded on 5 April 2018 at 12:02am Reply

    This was a magnificent performance. The soloists,especially Anna Netrebko were outstanding. The chorus were superb.I enjoyed every minute. The orchestra under Antonio Pappano were fantastic!!

  8. Dag Saunders responded on 5 April 2018 at 1:04am Reply

    No one moved at the end, says it all

  9. Margarete Rolle responded on 5 April 2018 at 4:36am Reply

    Anna was truly magnificent, Papano's interpretation monumental, and the whole experience of seeing this exciting production on the giant screen was thrilling.

  10. Jane Stephen responded on 5 April 2018 at 5:04am Reply

    What an exciting production this is of Macbeth with an outstanding cast. Well done ROH

  11. Tony Deacon responded on 5 April 2018 at 6:50am Reply

    We saw Macbeth last night at Kino, Hawkhurst. It was a fantastic, memorable production with really strong performances all round. Could Lady M have been any better cast than in Anna Netrebko? She was utterly mad, evil and convincing in the role and in fabulous voice. The chorus was in top form: outstanding. Rather relieved that there were no gorillas when Birnham Wood came to Dunsinane!

  12. John Mathers responded on 5 April 2018 at 7:32am Reply

    At the end of last night's performance, during the applause, a young actor gave a great yawn The poor lad was staying up way beyond his bedtime, I suspect. I'm not normally negative, but I'd say it was the most interesting thing which happened all evening.
    The problem is that Verdi's score is sadly lacking and turns Shakespeare's intense play in to a series of ponderous tableaux. This infects the whole production: long, drawn out, overblown and pompous. There was about as much inspiring acting and tension as there is in a piece of wood. That's not to criticise the splendid efforts of the ROH chorus and orchestra, but their efforts were not rewarded. The problem lies with Verdi, and this opera is best forgotten about. What a sad end to the season which included such gems as Salome and Rosenkavalier. I'm glad I paid to see those at Covent Garden and didn't waste my money on Macbeth.
    That young actor summed it up perfectly: the whole thing was a big yawn.

    • Tony Deacon responded on 6 April 2018 at 6:00pm

      Dear Sir,
      I fear you have missed the whole point of this production. All opera is compiled of ponderous tableaux. All operatic plots are pants! By definition! Anyone who has seen modern television and films, or has been exposed to modern writing cannot possibly be convinced by the 'artifice' of opera. It's impossible.
      So now that we have disposed of that, how are we (of the current, modern age) to accommodate opera as a valid art form in the modern world?
      Well, the short answer is that we willingly tolerate the silliness of the operatic plot. We suspend our reasonable objections to the nonsense and our disbelief at the patently absurd and unbelievable. Instead, we choose to revel in the confected drama the ponderous tableaux, the glorious costumes; the wonderful staging and sets and -above all- the fabulous singing and music.

    • Mr Barry Bernstein responded on 7 April 2018 at 11:03am

      Mr Mathers- Is it Verdi's Macbeth you dislike
      or is it just Joe Green non stop?
      Yes there is a fair bit of Verdi Gurdy in the
      opera . But in my opinion and believe me I
      do have an opinion on Verdi, seeing ALL of
      his 27 operas, that Macbeth is his finest
      early opera. Well that's not really true because although considered middle period Verdi , Il Trovatore is really the
      greatest culmination of this early Verdi style.
      The ensemble scenes are terrific in Macbeth. And are absolutely top rank. cComparing favourably to even
      late Verdi. .The Macbeth we saw at the
      cinema last midweek was absolutely outstanding .. But my opinion against somebody who that thinks Verdi is an anathema , means nothing..

  13. Rowen Langston responded on 5 April 2018 at 8:02am Reply

    Wonderful soloists, chorus and orchestra. Not so taken with aspects of stage production special effects.

  14. Noel Patrick responded on 5 April 2018 at 8:32am Reply

    I had never heard any of Verdi's Macbeth before, so I found it (as expected) to be an excellent drama. I found the staging to be a little too dark overall, but it didn't detract from a very enjoyable evening.
    The music, under Maestro Pappano, was captivating. To the 'orchestra' and 'chorus' a hearty well done.
    Anna Netrebco was simply stunning. She captivated from beginning to end. A truly malevolent, beautiful and desirable Lady Macbeth. This will be extremely hard to surpass!
    The whole cast were good throughout, but special mention is deserved for D'Arcangelo who was flawless throughout, and Eyvasov whose tenor aria deservedly received the ovation of the evening.
    Bravo to one and all at the Royal Opera House.

  15. Vivien Winterburn responded on 5 April 2018 at 8:53am Reply

    I also noticed the young actor yawning and must admit to doing the same during the performance - due mainly to the tableux type of production - I bow to John Mather's explanation as to why that was - however I loved the music and the ROH orchestra, chorus and soloists. However I am so grateful for the opportunity to see all the ROH opera and ballet productions at Strode Theatre, Street, Somerset as otherwise would never be able to see such wonderful performances. So thank you for starting the live in cinema productions - looking forward to seeing Manon in May and your 18/19 Season.

  16. Hans Schroeder responded on 5 April 2018 at 9:25am Reply

    We watched it from Germany, Bad Kreuznach, Cinemax - fantastic performance
    always again!

  17. Stan Howlett responded on 5 April 2018 at 9:26am Reply

    This was either going to be a mash up of two great writers that doesn't quite work or the best of both worlds. Brilliant music and voices along with a brilliant drama.
    This production was simply fantastic !!
    The most amazing and deliciously evil lady Macbeth. Wow, still on a high from watching this. These live screenings are an amazing way to see the best performers without having the expence of staying over in London. Culture in Somerset, just brilliant.

  18. Dewi Hughes responded on 5 April 2018 at 10:20am Reply

    A truly amazing production. Not just the singers and orchestra but the lighting and stage effects were superb. This was the first time I had seen a Royal Opera production at the cinema and really felt part of the audience at Covent Garden. Well done to all.

  19. Patrick Horwood responded on 5 April 2018 at 10:59am Reply

    This was the first time I have seen Opera at the Cinema but it won't be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed the additional videos and interviews. Antonio Pappano especially. Then, when the overture started, we were in the orchestra pit and up close and personal. Amazing. We had the best seats in the house, and it was great to see the acting of the artists up close. Anna Netrebko Sleepwalking scene...breathtaking. I still want to see live theatre, but now I also want to see the Cinema version too! Thank you so much for making this available. looking forward to the upcoming performances!

  20. Sandra responded on 5 April 2018 at 11:40am Reply

    Netrebko was stunning - in voice and understanding of the role and the chorus and other soloists were almost equally wonderful. It is so dramatic and powerful why was it cluttered by so many witches in red wigs, so many children (not really called for by the story) and other extraneous visual effects. I really thought in this case simple and sinister might have been more powerful.

  21. Rebecca Churchill responded on 5 April 2018 at 1:17pm Reply

    Watched this in a cinema in Spain. Wasn't sure what to expect but was enthralled. What a wonderful production. The 3 hours flew by. I'll definitely be looking out for future offerings. It was even more appreciated because where I live is very rural and hundreds of miles from any live performances. Finding this and the whole programme at a cinema in a nearby town has been a real find. Thank you.

  22. Norman Smalldridge responded on 5 April 2018 at 1:35pm Reply

    Similar to your respondent John Mathers comments I had previously dismissed Verdi's Macbeth as an undistinguished early work meriting only passing attention (I have seen productions before which although enjoyable were not totally convincing).. However last night's performance which I saw at the Vue cinema in Newcastle under Lyme has caused me to revise my opinion.
    When the opera is performed faultlessly, with top class soloists (Netrebko magnificent as Lady Macbeth, Lucic a very finely nuanced Macbeth, strong performances by the other soloists), a brilliant chorus and inspired playing by the orchestra all propelled by Pappano's inspiration and insight it is transformed into one of Verdi's great masterpieces.
    The performance was full of drama and tension and generally well acted.
    The whole evening was a triumph and this rated as one of the most memorable performances that I have witnessed in the last 45 years of attending operas. .
    Such a delightful relief after last month's absolutely abysmal Carmen.
    I look forward to next season with great expectation.

  23. Michael de Navarro responded on 5 April 2018 at 2:43pm Reply

    Anna and the rest of the cast even better than at the opening matinee. She is in a league of her own at the moment. Orchestra again wonderful too. So glad I saw it again.

    • Irene Carrier responded on 6 April 2018 at 7:40am

      Anna Netrebko is without equal. Whatever she costs we want her singing in the UK, especially as she responds so well to the conducting, orchestra and chorus of the Royal Opera House - all brilliant. Staging and artistic interpretation imaginative, evocative and inspiring great performances from a wonderful cast. Thank heavens for Salford’s Lowry Vue Cinema that enabled me and a group of friends to be carried away by this opera. Without the cinema, thousands of oldies and young unemployed who lack the money and mobility to make it to London would be forced to whinge about the elitism of opera! More screenings, please!!!!

  24. Ben Haslund responded on 5 April 2018 at 3:11pm Reply

    l just loved Macbeth, BUT please do not make other operas in the booooring (read ugly) style of Bastille/Paris - just modern for the sake of being modern - let us have something to look at and not just enjoy the great voices
    I have stoped enjoying the Bastille opera - great operas, but it "hurt my eyes " please please please .... l look forwards to the next season with ANNA, Jonas Kaufmann, Erwin Schrott and ........

  25. Daavid Lovett responded on 5 April 2018 at 5:56pm Reply

    I cannot agree with John Mathers. How could he not be moved by this wonderful production. I knew only the well known arias which are awesome but expected the rest of the opera to be dark and dismal. Instead i found it to be the most exciting opera music I have experienced. I left the cinema in a complete buzz still have not come down to earth

  26. Janice Roberts responded on 5 April 2018 at 6:55pm Reply

    Beautifully sung and powerfully portrayal of Lady Macbeth. Exuded evil with every expression. Macbeth portrayed perfectly the eeak man out of control of his destiny ehilst becoming increasingly alienated from his humanity.However post modernism to the fore rather outdid the overall effect with the witches. The various red headgear left me cold the general monochromatic costumery I found a little tedious. Not to detract from the magnificent singing. Recommended.

  27. Karenb responded on 5 April 2018 at 10:53pm Reply

    My daughter and I absolutely loved the performance last night. The orchestra under Antonio Pappano were amazing and we both thought Anna Netrebko was outstanding. We had waited so long to see her and it was worth the wait. Thank you Royal Opera for a wonderful evening.

  28. Ronaldo responded on 6 April 2018 at 7:02am Reply

    Not being a fan of the play Macbeth, I was intending to give this a miss, but I am ever so pleased I did not. It was terrific.
    Netrebko was superb. A real piece of work, and the rest f the cast were in good form The chorus of the refugees, I loved.

  29. Trevor Lynes responded on 6 April 2018 at 7:59am Reply

    Annas grasp of the role and stage presence is awe inspiring. The sound was a bit low in the cinema I was attending and that detracted a little from the experience, but there was no doubting the excellence of the singing and acting. All the singers were top class but Anna does stand out. Her voice is powerful but her technique is quite brilliant. I will see her and Yusif at the Albert Hall in May and cannot wait !! Viva Verdi :)

    • Joseph Chadbourn (Cinema Account Officer) responded on 6 April 2018 at 12:46pm

      Dear Trevor,

      Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear that the sound was low at your local cinema.

      The ROH monitors all sound levels throughout the live broadcast and we can confirm that there were no problems present in the transmission leaving the ROH that evening. Furthermore, our sound department systematically tests audio levels within real cinema conditions prior to every production so this was most likely an isolated issue.

      Best regards,
      ROH Cinema

  30. Helen Senior responded on 6 April 2018 at 9:34am Reply

    The singing and orchestral playing was magnificent, but the singers were constantly hampered by being upstaged by pointless stage business. Why were there children creeping around the stage at the end of the second act? Why were the witches constantly intervening in the action? Why did their costumes reference Frida Kahlo - was she a witch? Why did Lady M try to wash her hands in a giant chamberpot? The symbolism of the golden cage was clunky, and had the singers running up and down stairs in a distracting manner. And as for the filmed production, why did the camera keep focussing on the individual chorus members, rather than show us the staging as a whole?
    Not for the first time at the ROH, or indeed other companies, the magnificent singers were hampered by the production.

  31. Rob Hawker & Karen Taggart responded on 6 April 2018 at 3:36pm Reply

    Vey interesting production, striking costumes and sets, not keen on the cage though, great conducting, excellent singing. Netrebko for some Wagner?
    Some camera work not ideal.
    Overall experience was almost ruined by poor sound levels yet again in the Isle of Wight. It took a lot of arguing with the staff to get up to barely acceptable levels after the interval,. Could barely compete with the blockbuster film next door.This has been the case for all ROH relays this we have been to, this season and beyond.
    Not just me but other audience members say they complain and nothing is done.
    The Met relays seem fine.

  32. Patrick Hagglund responded on 6 April 2018 at 4:48pm 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!

  33. Peter Erdos responded on 8 April 2018 at 3:27pm Reply

    I have to add to the chorus of disapproval regarding the sound level at the Everyman in Barnet, a cinema I visit often and never complained before but it was totally unaccep table particularly the first half of the evening.As far as the performance it was excellent, Netrebko has deepened since 4 years ago when she premiered it in the Met. She and Lucic probably the best exponents of the Macbeths today. Yusif Eyvazov was a pleasant surprise, he sang very well but Ildebrando's Banquo I found strangely muted. The production is reasonably good having seen it many times since 2002. it was not only the young yawning actor but the chinese Malcolm who raised a smile of victory at the end

  34. Gary Hawkins responded on 11 April 2018 at 12:32pm Reply

    One of the best opera's on film I've ever seen.

    I was hoping that a DVD?Bluray release may be happening but I notice that this production is already out there, so I reckon it's unlikely.

    WHY WHY WHY don't ROH offer their amazing back catalogue online to view on demand etc - just like the MET !

    Think I'll email ROH and suggest....

  35. Juliet Chaplin responded on 12 April 2018 at 10:50pm Reply

    I attended the dress rehearsal of "Macbeth" and was very pleased to see the cinema transmission as well. Terrific cast in a fine opera very well performed. Anna Netrebko was outstanding. My only cavils are that the witches had no beards (Banquo refers to them) and it was unnecessary to have the Earl of Cawdor tied to a saltire cross. Rather over-egging the pudding.......but a wonderful evening in the cinema! Three cheers for Pappano and all those involved,

  36. Vanessa responded on 18 April 2018 at 3:12pm Reply

    Unbelievably good. I watched in Hamburg, Germany and was mesmerized. It wasn't my first Macbeth, I've seen a couple of excellent performances of this opera at the Bavarian State Opera House in Munich when I was still a student back in the 90s. I had to wait 20 years to see this wonderful opera again, but boy was it worth the long wait!

  37. Marion Speck responded on 23 April 2018 at 12:08pm Reply

    Utterly amazing.!!!!

  38. Barbara Apuzzo responded on 27 April 2018 at 5:34am Reply

    We watched from Norwalk, Connnecticut in a beautiful new theater where the sound system brought Verdi's opera to vivid life beyond our expectations! The voices were sublime and Pappano's orchestra superb. I was absorbed for three swift hours. Bravo!!

  39. YasuAlex responded on 18 June 2018 at 1:33pm Reply

    It is fantastic performance!
    Anna is super. She completely changed her gentle, smooth and soft voice changed into dramatic and strong voice, maybe considering Maria Callas.

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