Magazine article Musical Opinion

Verdi - Macbeth

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Verdi - Macbeth

Article excerpt

Berlin Staatsoper at the Schiller Theater

On February 28th the theatre was full to capacity and all performances had been sold out for months. Although this did not matter much to this public, the good news is that Plácido Domingo has found a baritone role into which he can bite and use his new voice to much better effect than with previous roles. Macbeth is a tortured role and lends itself to dramatic effects such as short phrases and histrionics, such as laughter, which Domingo used well. The bad news is that the production by Peter Mussbach was a disaster and even dangerous. A high mound in the middle of the stage revealed a hole with a lid as if a submarine. Since the hole was narrow and sloping down it could trip the artist emerging, in this case Domingo demonstrated his capacity to recover himself credibly by dropping towards one side and sliding down the mound landing among the witches, a masterpiece of damage limitation which turned into a convincing move.

Lady Macbeth appears as if being on acid, with a blonde wig with the hairs standing up, reflecting no doubt the hairs of those of us who had to look at this total lack of care with the representation of the roles. The chorus depicted artificial heads resembling ants and Malcolm and Macduff seemed to belong to an episode of Battlestar Calactica. But people had come for Domingo's new addition to his portfolio of Verdian baritone roles and they were not disappointed, he moved well, he acted convincingly and sang with his customary generosity and timbre, even if one would have welcomed a different type of voice with more weight and darker. …

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