Murder, witches and intrigue in Verdi’s Macbeth

Verdi's Macbeth by Opera South East
Verdi's Macbeth by Opera South East
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Opera South East is performing Macbeth, the opera by Verdi and sung in English, at Hastings White Rock Theatre this month.

The talented group will perform with the highly regarded Sussex Concert Orchestra under Conductor Kenneth Roberts.

Artistic Director Fraser Grant will be giving a pre-show talk on the Saturday evening at 6pm to ticket holders of either performance. This coincides with the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, April 23 1616.

He commented: “In this production we explore the dark and mysterious world of Shakespeare’s play. The witches foretell the prophecy and the writing is on the wall. With its devastating mix of murder, witchcraft and political intrigue, Verdi’s opera of Shakespeare’s masterpiece has thrilled audiences for over a century.

“Verdi regarded Shakespeare as ‘one of my very special poets, and I have had him in my hands from my earliest youth, and I have read and re-read him continually.’ It is not surprising that Macbeth remained one of Verdi’s favourite own works, despite its comparative lack of success in his lifetime. This is a nightmarish dream, set in a dark void, somewhere between now and then. The production aims to highlight the destructive power of ambition as narrated by the Gaelic Chorus of Witches. The corrupt court of Macbeth will literally be torn apart. It’s not to be missed.”

Key Principal roles are from Peter Grevatt as Macbeth, Richard Woodall as Banquo and Mari Wyn Wiliams as Lady Macbeth.

Opera South East has been performing operas for 35 years (since 1980) by bringing together enthusiastic amateurs and emerging/established professionals to provide a unique opportunity for singers of all ages and backgrounds to experience the thrill of opera performance with a full orchestra. Tickets cost £20, £16 and £12, concs £2 off, under-16’s free, from 01424 462288 or www.whiterocktheatre.org.uk.