The legendary Italian baritone Giuseppe Taddei, born in Genoa on 26 June 1926, passed away in Rome on 2 June. Equally adept at singing dramatic and comic roles, especially in bel canto scores, Mr. Taddei was one of the finest Verdi singers of the Twentieth Century. His Metropolitan Opera début, in his calling-card role of Falstaff, came in 1985, nearly fifty years after Mr. Taddei's professional début. Mr. Taddei possessed one of the most beautiful natural baritone voices of the Twentieth Century, a voice preserved on many standard-setting recordings. Voix-des-arts.blogspot.com
This score undoubtedly marks an important turning point in Verdi's operatic writing, because it brings to the foreground the characters' introspective, psychological aspect, which would be the fundamental feature of most of the maestro's later creations. This recording documents the production staged at Novara's Teatro Coccia during the 2013-2014 season, with Dario Argento tackling for the rst time the direction of an opera. Verdi's masterpiece was not new to the director from Rome, who had used it as backdrop for his 1987 lm Opera, set at the Teatro Regio in Parma, indeed during a staging of Macbeth. From the master of thriller and horror one could only expect a direction in line with his previous lm-making background, and from that point of view, this Macbeth does not fail expectations, with its bloody, indeed gory scenes; they are, at any rate, consistent with the dark and brutal character of Shakespeare's tragedy. But aside from all of that, Dario Argento's direction reveals extraordinarily theatrical qualities, greatly enhanced by the conducting of Giuseppe Sabbatini who, on the podium, takes tempos that fit perfectly the unrolling of the drama.
Macbeth signifies the beginning of Verdi"s life-long preoccupation with William Shakespeare where he came close to emulating the master with his congenial composition of Othello and whom he even surpassed with Falstaff. Aware of the great musical as well as literary challenge, Verdi wrote the scenario himself and essentially concentrated the piece on three main protagonists: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the prophecy of the witches . . . During the first performance on 14 March 1847 in Florence the audience reacted with great displeasure. The piece only gradually established itself in the world of opera. Luca Ronconi’s new production of Verdi’s early masterpiece which was first performed in June 1987 at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin was received in Germany and around the world with great praise.
The Metropolitan Opera presents the first of Verdi’s three operas based on Shakespeare, ‘in a stylistically eclectic, grimly effective and, at times, intriguingly playful production’ (New York Times) by English director Adrian Noble, making his Met debut. At the time of composition, Macbeth was unique. Not only was it considered both musically and dramatically bold, but it was the first opera that can truly be described as Shakespearean. It was the first that altered operatic conventions to serve the play rather than converting the play into traditional operatic formulas.
Shakespeare’s drama on the Scottish nobleman Macbeth who is corrupted by power and loses his wife, sanity and finally his life to his ambitions is one of the greatest plays of world literature. Although the work was simplified for the opera libretto, its core – a mixture of the realistic and the supernatural – has remained intact…
There is tough competition for the best recording of 'Macbeth', but for me the combination of Abbado's explosive and rhythmically taut way with the score and Shirley Verrett's tour de force as Lady Macbeth give this one the edge.
- Amazon By Julian Grant -
Even though Macbeth is the title character of Verdi's opera, most people will choose a recording of it based on the performer of the role of Lady Macbeth. My own opinion is that Elena Souliotis is, more than any other singer I have heard in this music, just right for the part.Verdi clearly stated that he wanted a harsh, choked sound from his Lady Macbeth.
Giuseppe Verdi was born in the little town of Roncole in the vicinity of Parma and spent the longest period of his life in seclusion close to Parma. He died in Milan in 1901. Today, the region of Parma honours its one-time fellow citizen with the international Verdi Festival organized by the Teatro Regio di Parma. Every year, Verdi’s masterworks are performed in the historical theatres of Parma and neighbouring Busseto over 28 days in the autumn…