2006

MACBETH at Royal Opera House

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0081  Wednesday, 1 March 2006

From: 		Jane Susanna Ennis<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 28 Feb 2006 14:47:48 -0000 (GMT)
Subject: 	MACBETH at Royal Opera House

http://members.fortunecity.co.uk/leonora/Macbeth.html)

Giuseppe Verdi, MACBETH
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Friday 24th. February 2006

CAST
MACBETH:          Thomas Hampson
BANQUO:           John Relyea
LADY MACBETH:     Violeta Urmana
LADY-IN-WAITING:  Elizabeth Woolett
MACDUFF:          Joseph Calleja
MALCOLM:          Andrew Stritheran*
DOCTOR:           Robert Gleadow*
*Jette Parker Young Artists

CONDUCTOR:        Yakov Kreizberg
DIRECTOR:         Phyllida Lloyd
LIGHTING:         Paule Constable
CHOREOGRAPHY:     Michael Keegan Dolan

Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
*******************************************************

A good and exciting performance, which sometimes rose to heights of 
excellence. Yakov Kreizberg favoured a brisk tempo at the opening, which 
perhaps was more expressive of Macbeth's martial valour than of the 
atmosphere of sinister malevolence which should brood over the entire 
work, but the tempo was less brisk during the scenes where a more 
leisurely tempo is important - the Sleepwalking Scene especially.

Thomas Hampson as Macbeth sounded slightly tentative at first, but, as I 
indicated, rose to heights of excellence as the work progressed. Thus he 
wasn't quite confident in conveying the idea of Macbeth as a brave 
soldier and loyal subject, but very effective in conveying the 
disintegration of a mind steeped in crime and not able to draw back. His 
"pieta, rispetto, amore" was indeed Shakespearean in tone! His voice is 
perhaps more lyrical than dramatic, but I don't find this a fault.

He was well-matched by Violeta Urmana's Lady Macbeth, though it has to 
be admitted that, on the night I saw the performance, she couldn't 
manage the high D flat at the end of the Sleepwalking Scene - it's 
supposed to almost fade away into nothingness, but she gave a gulp as 
she missed the note.  Still, this was the only fault in an otherwise 
very convincing performance; I was especially impressed with the 
interaction between her and Hampson in the duet after he has committed 
the murder, not just vocally but dramatically as well - his torment when 
he hears the voice saying "Macbeth shall sleep no more", and her 
indifference to his conscience. She was very forceful in the letter 
scene, and almost pitiable in the Sleepwalking Scene.

John Relyea has a deep, sonorous bass, and delivered Banquo's aria with 
conviction, and Joseph Calleja made the most of "Ah, la paterna mano", 
which is the tenor's "consolation prize" in this opera which 
concentrates on the baritone and the soprano.

The stage in Phyllida's Lloyd's uncluttered production was predominantly 
dark, and the shafts of light that occurred at crucial moments were thus 
unexpected and very effective. The witches are dressed in black, with 
red headdresses. Duncan is dressed in gold, and appears at the back of 
the stage on a gold-draped horse.....and this golden appearance is 
parodied by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the Banquet Scene; they look 
slightly ill-at-ease in their new finery, and I wondered if this was a 
reference to Shakespeare clothing imagery; at one point Macbeth, when 
told he is to be Thane of Cawdor, asks "Why do you dress me in borrowed 
robes?"

The scene in which Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are visited by children is, 
according to Phyllida Lloyd, a definite reference to Shakespeare; not 
only Macduff's children (who do not appear in the opera), but also to 
the repeated images of barrenness that occur in the play with reference 
to the Macbeths. (Macduff's vengeance can never be complete, because "he 
has no children").

Another coup de theatre occurred as the screens rose to show Duncan's 
body, lying on the bed covered in blood - this doesn't usually happen 
even in productions of the play, and it came as a shock. We also see the 
execution of the Thane of Cawdor.

To sum up - a good performance, musically and dramatically, and also 
visually effective.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Milward at BC

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0080  Wednesday, 1 March 2006

From: 		Dennis Taylor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 27 Feb 2006 18:02:15 -0500
Subject: 	Milward at BC

Mar. 20, 2006, Monday, 4:30 PM, Fulton 230, Boston College, Lecture by 
Peter Milward, S. J., "Shakespeare the Papist."  With Responses by David 
Beauregard and Frank Brownlow. Sponsored by the journal, Religion and 
the Arts

Peter Milward, S. J., an English Jesuit, is the great twentieth century 
pioneering scholar of Shakespeare's Catholic Background. His 
Shakespeare's Religious Background (1973) was a landmark volume in the 
field, as were his two volumes of The Religious Controversies of the 
Elizabethan Age (1977) and the Jacobean Age (1978). His new book, 
Shakespeare the Papist (2005), is Milward's climactic achievement in 
Shakespeare studies, an application of the background of English 
Catholicism to Shakespeare's works, the definitive work on the subject. 
  Milward is also being honored for the special collection of his works 
now assembled at Burns Rare Book Library.

For information, Tel. Religion and the Arts, 617 552 3729, Web page: 
www.bc.edu/relarts


Dennis Taylor
Professor of English
Boston College

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Miniature Editions of Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0078  Wednesday, 1 March 2006

From: 		Jim Harner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Sunday, 26 Feb 2006 21:20:04 -0600
Subject: 	Miniature Editions of Shakespeare

I've just opened a Web site that documents miniature editions of 
Shakespeare: http://www-english.tamu.edu/wsb/project/. It is very much a 
work-in-progress since I have some 200 more to add.

Jim Harner

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

American Shakespeare Center Begins Podcasting

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0079  Wednesday, 1 March 2006

From: 		Bill Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 27 Feb 2006 16:51:21 -0500
Subject: 	American Shakespeare Center Begins Podcasting

The American Shakespeare Center has entered the world of podcasting with 
its first edition of Blackfriars Backstage Pass:  Romeo and Juliet.  For 
more information, to download the podcast, to learn how to subscribe to 
all ASC podcasts, or to learn more about podcasting in general, please 
visit the podcast page of the ASC website:

http://www.americanshakespearecenter.com/education/onShakespeare.html

Bill Gordon
Director of Tour Operations and Special Programming
American Shakespeare Center
13 West Beverley Street
4th Floor
Staunton, VA   24401
(540) 885-5588, Extension 11
FAX:   (540) 885-4886
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.americanshakespearecenter.com

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Administrative Issues

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0077  Wednesday, 1 March 2006

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Subject: 	Administrative Issues

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

We have not been back online for very long and already the list traffic 
has become, at times, so heavy that it presents a hazard to my 
well-being. Fortunately, a nasty case of the flu put me out of 
commission last week and an inordinate number of doctor's appointments 
have kept me occupied much of this week.

Now, as I sit before my computer, eyes dilated from a visit to the 
Retinalogist/Ophthalmologist, I face a few hours of editing submissions 
once I can see better, and I wonder what can be done.

I am now officially encouraging members to limit their submissions to a 
few per week and not more than one a day.

Also, in the interests of trying to limit the lifetime of threads that 
have a tendency never to die, I am announcing that the threads listed 
below will be closed on Friday, March 3, 2006:

* Hamlet Puzzles
* A Wedding Ring Question
* Re-reading Hamlet
* Handsome Richard III?
* Shakespeare Sitcom Question
* Deceitful Plays

If you wish to continue discussing a particular aspect of one of these, 
you MUST rename that thread in the SUBJECT line to fit the aspect you 
are interested in.

Digests to follow once my eyes have settled down some more,
Hardy

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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