Bolshoi stages Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’

The Bolshoi State Academic Theater of Russia presents Giuseppe Verdi’s «Macbeth» at the Herod Atticus Theater tonight. A co-production of the Bolshoi Company with the Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Teatro Massimo di Palermo, the production was first presented in Moscow in 2003. The celebrated opera is directed by renowned stage director Eimuntas Nekrosius. First time Verdi’s «Macbeth» was the Italian master’s first attempt to compose an opera based on a Shakespeare play. The opera’s story begins in 1846, the year Verdi signed a contract for a production to be staged at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence. Later on, Verdi informed his agent that his new opera would be based on Shakespeare’s «Macbeth.» But the opera’s staging preceded the actual play, and the latter finally opened in Milan in 1849. Shakespeare heavily influenced Verdi. The playwright’s oeuvre is present in all of Verdi’s creative cycles as a composer, reflecting the era’s aesthetics and the romantic movement in general. Following «Macbeth,» Verdi went on to work on «Othello» and «Falstaff,» attempted composing for «Hamlet» and «The Tempest» (both of which he abandoned) and spent a large part of his final years working on «King Lear.» At the Herod Atticus, the production will be presented in a complete version based on the 1847 rendition. The libretto is by Francesco Maria Piave. Participating in tonight’s performance are soprano Elena Zelenskaya, baritone Carlo Guelfi, tenors Maxim Paster and Marat Galiakhmetov, and bass Mikhail Kazakov. The Herod Atticus Theater is situated below the Acropolis. Tickets are available at the theater’s box office and the Hellenic Festival box office, 39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.928.2900. For credit card bookings, call the same number.