Macbeth Four-act opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Four-act opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave

By the tragedy of the same name by William Shakespeare


Conductor-producer IVAN KOZHUKHAROV



Set design by Boris Stoynov

Costume Designer TSVETANKA P. - STOYNOVA

Choreography by BORYAN SECHANOV

Responsible tutor of ballet GALINA KALCHEVA

Concertmaster VANYA ZLATEV







Macbeth, general

Lady Macbeth, his wife

Banko, general

McDuff, a Scottish nobleman

Lady Macbeth's court lady

Malcolm, son of Duncan


Macbeth's servant


Duncan, King of Scotland

Fleens, son of Banko

Witches, messengers, courtiers, Scottish refugees, English soldiers, ghosts.

The action takes place in Scotland in the eleventh century.


Creation history:


Under a contract with the impresario Alessandro Lanari in 1846, Verdi was to write an opera for the La Pergola Theater in Florence. After some hesitation, he stopped at Macbeth, and this was his first contact with Shakespeare's work. Written around 1602, the play interprets historical events from the beginning of the 11th century. Verdi is extremely fond of controversial characters, the mystique in the images of witches and the convincing suggestion of the work. Starting work, the composer realizes that the usual musical means will not be enough to build the main characters. The lead singer must master the art of expressive and convincing recitation to perfection. "The voice must be sharp, muffled and gloomy, the orchestra must play in silence, and the stage must be extremely dark." To this day, this is one of the most difficult singing roles. By making Lady Macbeth her protagonist, Verdi created a work that set new demands on the opera house and performers.

Almost 20 years later, Verdi reworked the opera at the request of Leon Escudier, a French impresario and publisher, and on April 21, 1865, the premiere of the new version with more ballet scenes took place in Paris. For a long time, the composer considered this opera to be the most successful. The combination of influential music combined with a dramatic plot makes "Macbeth" one of the most iconic adaptations of Shakespeare's tragedy on stage and gives Verdi a well-deserved place among the greatest composers.

The Bulgarian premiere of "Macbeth" took place only in 1974 at the Sofia Opera under the direction of Asen Naidenov and directed by Mikhail Hadjimishev; the scenography is by Ani Hadjimisheva.

In Burgas, the opera "Macbeth" is staged for the first time right now, on July 5, 2012, as part of the "Burgas Music Festival" Emil Chakarov.




First action

In a forest on the way to Inverness in Scotland, amid lightning and lightning, foreshadowing a terrible storm, witches gathered to share the atrocities committed during the day. In the late hours, Macbeth and Banco, commanders of King Duncan's army, had just passed by, having just won a victory over nobles who had rebelled against the king. They pause and strike up a conversation with the witches who greet Macbeth, calling him "tan" (ruler) of Glamis and Caudor, and "future king of Scotland," and foretelling to his friend Banco that he will be "the parent of future kings."  The witches disappear when envoys appear, informing Macbeth that the king has awarded him the title of Caudorian Tan.

At Macbeth's castle in Inverness, Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband in which he tells her about his meeting with the witches and their prophecies. Overwhelmed by dreams of power and glory, she decides that Macbeth was created for the throne. The letter also said that King Duncan would spend the night at the castle that night. When Macbeth appears, his wife manages to persuade him to take advantage of the opportunity and kill the old and weak king. Trumpets herald the arrival of Duncan and his retinue of noble tans and lords. After a short solemn ceremony, the monarch was taken to his allotted rooms. Left alone, Macbeth desperately tries to muster enough courage to commit the crime his beloved so desperately wants; ambitious and conceited, though honest, deep down he actually secretly desires the same. A bell rings, a symbol agreed between the two spouses, and Macbeth sneaks into the king's chambers to kill him, but just before he stabs the sleeping Duncan, he is filled with terror at the evil he is about to commit. Disgusted by her husband's cowardice, Lady Macbeth snatches the dagger from his hands and completes the crime herself. She then stains the sleeping guards of the king with blood and throws the bloodied dagger next to them - so they will be convicted of murder. The troupe discovers McDuff, another Scottish nobleman, tasked by the king to wake him before sunrise. Terrified McDuff raises the alarm and everyone begs God to avenge the sinister act and punish the killer.

Second action

Macbeth became king. However, the prophecy of the witches that it was not he but Banko who would become the ancestor of a great dynasty did not stop him. Macbeth tells his wife that in order to avoid the prophecy, he ordered Banco and his son Fleans to be killed while they were going to a party organized by himself. Anticipating the bliss of omnipotence, Lady Macbeth testified to her full approval of her husband's actions.

A gang of assassins hid near the fortress walls. Banko asks, anxiously telling his son about the bad feelings that are tormenting him. The ambushed mercenaries manage to kill Banko; however, they miss his son Fleans, who manages to escape.

In a hall in his castle, Macbeth welcomes the guests who came to his wife's feast. Lady Macbeth sings brindisi (toast). While the new king of Scotland is hypocritically worried about the absence of his friend Banco, one of the assassins enters, informing him of Banco's death, and that Fleence has managed to escape. When he returns to the table, however, Macbeth sees the ghost of Banko sitting in his own chair. Macbeth, with furious screams, tries to drive away the ghost; his shocked guests, convinced that the king had lost his mind, left the feast in panic.


Third action


Witches gathered in a gloomy cave on the way to Inverness around a simmering cauldron. Hecate, the goddess of night and sorcery, announces the arrival of Macbeth, to whom the witches must reveal all his rice, except for his doom. Macbeth himself enters. He came because he wanted to know his future. To reveal the fate that awaits him, the witches summon three ghosts. The first, representing a human head with a battle helmet, warns the king to beware of McDuff, Tanya Fife. The second is of a bloodied child who tells him that no one born to a woman will be able to harm him. The third ghost, a child with a crown on his head and a twig in his hand, foretells to Macbeth that he will be invincible until the Burnham Forest goes against him. Macbeth then sees the ghosts of Banco and his descendants, eight future glorious kings of Scotland, confirming the original prophecy that Banco would be the "parent of future kings." Macbeth faints; when he regains consciousness, he is in his castle. A herald announces the arrival of the Queen. Macbeth tells his wife about his meeting with the witches, and together they decide to kill both Banco Fleens' son and McDuff, along with his entire family.

Fourth act

Scottish fugitives have gathered near the Anglo-Scottish border. The Bernama Forest is very close by. Among them is McDuff, who has vowed to avenge the deaths of his wife and children by the hated tyrant. He joins the son of the late Duncan, Malcolm, who leads the British army, which set out to meet Macbeth and his army. Malcolm orders each soldier to cut a branch from the Bernama Forest and hide with it while attacking the enemy. They are determined to free Scotland from the tyranny of the hated usurper.

In Macbeth's castle, the doctor and a court lady witness another lunatic attack of the Queen. Walking in his sleep, Lady Macbeth daydreams and frantically rubs her hands against each other in a futile attempt to clear their victim's imaginary blood.

Macbeth is told that an enemy army is advancing against him, but, remembering the prediction, he remains unperturbed. His calm does not disturb the news of his wife's death - the king greets her with absolute indifference. As he assembles his army, Macbeth learns that the Bernama Forest is advancing on his castle. A battle is raging. Macbeth fights McDuff, who tells him that he was not "born of a woman" but was "snatched" from his mother's womb. Macbeth's answer is a cry of terrible suffering. He falls dead, pierced by McDuff's sword. Warriors and people sing a victory anthem in honor of Scotland's new king, Malcolm.