Verdi’s Macbeth and the power of artistry / Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh – 27 May 2010

10 Jun
macbeth edin 2010Had the chance to be in Edinburgh in the same week as when the Edinburgh Grand Opera was staging Verdi’s Macbeth at The Royal Lyceum Theatre.I booked my tickets a couple of months ahead intrigued by the prospect of a mixed professional and amateur team putting the show together. Glasgow and Edinburgh have quite a long tradition of this type of opera and choral productions. In London of course the calendar is overfilled with performances by the ENO and the Royal Opera House, leaving very little space in the limelight for opera from the people for the people.The Royal Lyceum was indeed a fine high Victorian edifice with a plush interior, rather suitable for the production of a Shakespearean themed opera. The performance we witnessed took place on 27 May 2010 with the following cast:

  • Macbeth – Ivor Klayman
  • Lady Macbeth – Christina Dunwoodie
  • Banquo – Peter Cannell
  • Macduff – Mike Towers
  • Lady in Waiting – Jennifer Craig
  • Malcolm – Joe Earley
  • Doctor – Russell Malcolm

The evening was very interesting and the performances may not reached the heights of a top opera house but they made up with the obvious love and dedication the performers gave to Verdi’s dramatic score and arias.

The orchestra despite it’s small size managed to convey Verdi’s sweeping gestures and brought them to life. A sure highlight was Dunwoodie’s Una Macchia E Qui Tottora in the last act, she may have not been totally convincing dramatically, but her fantastic and spirited delivery brought Lady Macbeth to life in a wonderful way. Ivor Klayman did a really good job portraying Macbeth with brio and conviction, despite his obvious vocal fatigue in the last scene. But most singers would be outshone by a really good soprano singing Macchia but it’s always the danger with this opera.

This evening was a wonderful reaffirmation of my love for opera and the wonderful artistry and skill that is involved. Can’t wait for the next chance to witness a live performance, in the mean time recordings with Callas, Gobbi, DiDonato, Petibon and many others will keep the flame alive.

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