Phyllida Lloyd directs Verdi’s opera with a cast including Anna Netrebko and Anna Pirozzi, Željko Lučić and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo. Here’s what critics have had to say about the production….
The warrior Macbeth fights on the side of the King of Scotland – but when a coven of witches prophesy that he shall become king himself, a ruthless ambition drives Macbeth and his wife to horrific acts.
The Guardian: **** “After a low-key start, Pappano slowly ratchets up the tension to near breaking point, and the baleful orchestral sound, all implacable brass and slithery woodwind, really gets under your skin.”
The Spectator: “Needless to say, Antonio Pappano is the moving agent before and behind this great achievement.”
WhatsOnStage: **** “a special kind of light in this revival of Macbeth, but it is aural rather than visual because it comes courtesy of Anna Netrebko. The Russian soprano is ablaze with the power and vocal control of a world-conquering diva.”
A Younger Theatre: “Macbeth brings on stage gloom, ambition, and the subconscious, showing the destructive effects of the darkest compulsions of mankind on both an individual and a collective level.”
The Stage: *** “But with its general ugliness and clumsy stagecraft – Banquo’s assassination and posthumous reappearance at the Macbeths’ subsequent festivities are both woefully ineffective – Lloyd’s production is weak and unfocused.”
The independent: ***** “the supporting cast, the chorus, and the orchestra under Antonio Pappano’s direction all play a blinder.”
The Times: **** “Anna Netrebko is frighteningly mesmerising as Lady Macbeth and zooms with commanding ease over every register.”
The FT: **** “Lloyd’s gloomy and thought-provoking staging has found the murderous pair that the witches must always have intended for it.”
Bachtrack: **** “Phyllida Lloyd’s 2002 staging, revived here for the third time, is a curate’s egg. There are some nice ideas, like the striking headdresses of the chorus of witches and the gilded cage occupied first by Duncan, then by the Macbeths when they take over the royal crown.”
MusicOMH: **** “If the staging is generally effective, the vocal performances stand as something special. Anna Netrebko is a tremendous Lady Macbeth, with her rich, full-blooded and deep voice imbuing every fibre of her being with cold, calculating ruthlessness.”