Macbeth Comes to Charlotte November 7, 9 & 10
A cautionary tale about what can happen when someone with political ambitions pursues power for its own sake, the Verdi opera of Shakespeare’s Macbeth comes to Charlotte November 7, 9 & 10.
In the story, a Scottish general named Macbeth receives the prophecy that he will be come King of Scotland from a trio of witches. He is quickly consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Lady Macbeth; he murders the King and seizes the Scottish throne for himself.
He is then consumed by guilt and paranoia and commits more murders to protect himself from suspicion. He becomes a tyrannical ruler and the bloodbath and consequent civil war take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into madness and death. You can read a story synopsis on the Opera Carolina website here.
Giuseppe Verdi adapted the Shakespearean tragedy, and said of the play “….This tragedy is one of the greatest creations of man…” Verdi followed the play fairly closely, although instead of using three witches, there is a female chorus of witches, singing in three-part harmony (they are divided in three groups, each of which sings as a single witch, using “I” instead of “we”). The Witches, also known as the Weird Sisters or Wayward Sisters were considered by Verdi to be one of the three pivotal characters in the story, along with Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Opera Carolina’s performance of the work stars veteran baritone Mark Rucker as the Scottish King, and his frequent Lady Macbeth Othalie Graham. There’s a great Q&A about the role on the Opera Carolina website here, where Rucker reveals this is his 6th or 7th turn as Macbeth.
Tickets start at $22, although the seats you’ll want start at $44 to $73.50. The performances are:
- Thursday Nov 7 – at 7:30 pm
- Saturday Nov 9 – at 8:00 pm
- Sunday Nov 10 – at 2:00 pm
And be forewarned, in the theater world, some believe the play is cursed, and won’t even say its name. Instead, it’s called “The Scottish Play”. Per wikipedia, “According to a theatrical superstition, called the Scottish curse, speaking the name Macbeth inside a theatre, other than as called for in the script while rehearsing or performing, will cause disaster. A variation of the superstition also forbids quoting lines from the play within a theatre except as part of an actual rehearsal or performance of the play.” You can read more about that here.
So, witches, curses, death and ruin. All in a day’s work at Opera Carolina!
Stay tuned for more excitement with the January and April operas in the OC 2019-2020 season.