"Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble..."
has his eyes on the Scottish throne, and his ambitions are outweighed only by those of his wife, the bloodthirsty Lady Macbeth.
One of the musical high points of Macbeth is the part played by the chorus members. In Shakepeare's version, three witches raise their prophecies, warning Macbeth to beware of Macduff and assure him that “no man of woman born” can harm him. Verdi asks the chorus as a whole to cast their spell. Another frequently excerpted passage is the famous Chorus of Scottish Refugees, "Patria, oppresa." For Verdi, it was a subliminal message in support of Italian independence.
Oppressed land of ours! You cannot have
the sweet name of mother
now that you have become a tomb
for your sons.
From orphans, from those who mourn,
some for husbands, some for children,
at each new dawn a cry goes up
to outrage heaven.
The Met's synopsis will guide you through the plotline, and following the Met's broadcast, host Bill Richardson will speak with Pulitzer prizewinning writer Garry Wills about parallels between Shakespeare and Verdi.
Last season, The Royal Opera House produced a blog post that's well worth visiting: Macbeth, Verdi, & Shakespeare: 10 Things you might not know.
Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, with host Bill Richardson
Saturday March 24, 2012 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. (2:00-6:00 AT, 2:30-6:30 NT) on CBC Radio 2.
Bach’s Passions lead the way to Easter
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens stages a Soirée Stravinsky
Carlos Miguel Prieto on batons as dangerous weapons