Verdi: Macbeth, Wiener Staatsoper, 2015 (detail) View full image

Christian Räth opens the Wiener Staatsoper season with Macbeth

German director Christian Räth's production of Verdi's Macbeth is the first new production of the 15/16 season. Alain Altinoglu conducts the performances with a stellar cast including the visceral Tatiana Serjan, George Petean, Jorge de Leon and the great veteran bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. The performances will take place on October 4, 7, 10, 13, 17 and 21; there is a second run later this season on June 8, 12, 15, 18. 

Shortly after the world premiere in Florence in 1847, Verdi declared that he liked Macbeth better than any other opera. And what is more: "I believe that this opera can give our music a new direction". A new direction? In Macbeth, the first Shakespeare drama which Verdi had set to music, the composer did indeed break new musical ground, daring to carry out the stylistic experiment that gives this work its unique position to this day. For instance, Verdi did not envisage a traditional cantabile for Lady Macbeth, but an intensity of expression designed to vividly express her unscrupulous striving for power and her insanity.