What's On

Synopsis

Giuseppe Verdi (1865). 

Following the hugely successful production of Verdi’s Otello, Opera North presents another Verdian take on a Shakespearean masterpiece. Expect musical fireworks in a captivating drama about the nature of ambition, conscience and the human heart that has gripped audiences for centuries.

On return from battle, King Duncan’s generals, Macbeth and Banquo, encounter three unnatural women who deliver a strange prophecy. When Macbeth tells his wife of their prediction – that he will become King of Scotland – it leads to a chain of bloody, unstoppable events...

‘One of mankind’s greatest creations’ is how Verdi described Shakespeare’s play. Determined to transmute the ferocity of the original into music, he created a gripping, unparalleled work of ‘extravagance and originality’, displaying the full breadth of his genius.

Béla Perencz and Kelly Cae Hogan, who gave sensational performances as Wotan and his rebellious daughter Brünnhilde in 2012’s Die Walküre, star in Tim Albery’s excitingly dramatic and energetic production

...a fast, vivid, bloody and energetic Macbeth that grabs and keeps the audience’s attention.Daily Telegraph

Down to the last detail, Tim Albery’s production is thoughtful and penetrating, the evening absorbed by the enthralled audience in pin-drop silence.The Independent

Lasts approximately 2 hours 45 mins

Sung in Italian with English titles.

Download our complete opera performance diary for 2013-14 here.

Buy Tickets

Pricing
Adult Ticket
£15 - £65
Schedule

Click on a venue below to find out more information.

Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre 7th - 22nd Feb 2014 7:00pm
Contact Details
46 New Briggate
Leeds
LS1 6NZ
Nearby

Enjoy 20% off your bill at Sandinista (Cross Belgrave Street - New Briggate) on presentation of your Opera North ticket when placing their food order. To book a table call 0113 305 0372. Food is served till 10pm through the week with final orders at 9pm Friday and Saturday. Only valid on the day of the performance their ticket is for. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Important Information

The theatre is easily accessible by public transport. It is approximately 10 minutes walk from the main bus station and 15 minutes walk from the train station with many buses stopping in the immediate vicinity. For the most up to date information on local bus and train times, please check WYMetro. There is also a taxi rank outside the theatre although we recommend booking a taxi in advance, particularly on a Friday or Saturday evening.

Parking is available at various nearby car parks, including Edward Street/Templar Street and the St John's and Merrion Centre shopping malls. A limited amount of on street parking available near the theatre is free after 6pm but this does tend to fill up very quickly.

Salford Quays The Lowry 6th - 8th Mar 2014 7:00pm
Contact Details
Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ
Important Information

There is a passenger drop-off point immediately in front of The Lowry. Secure parking is available in The Lowry Outlet Mall multi-storey car park. There are designated areas for disabled parking on every level.

The Lowry is accessible by train, tram and bus. http://www.tfgm.com/

From national railway stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria you can travel to The Lowry by Metrolink tram. You can board an Eccles line tram and should alight at Harbour City, or Media City UK for trams which stop there, as this is slightly closer.

More info: http://www.thelowry.com/plan-your-visit/getting-here/

Newcastle Theatre Royal 11th - 13th Mar 2014 7:00pm
Contact Details
100 Grey Street
Newcastle
NE1 6BR
Important Information

Parking

Free Parking in all City Council multi-storey carparks after 5pm.

The two closest car parks to Theatre Royal are the Oxford Street multi-storey (just behind the Laing) and the Dean Street multi-storey. Click here for more info.

There are two parking spaces for blue badge holders on Shakespeare Street and three on Hood Street. Most parking meters are free to Blue Badge Holders.

Metro

Alight at Monument Metro Station and follow the signs for the Theatre Royal. We are less than one minutes walk from the Metro entrance on Grey Street.

Travel free on the Metro with your theatre ticket (up to two hours before and after the performance) - simply retain your theatre ticket for inspection by Metro Staff.

Train

The Theatre Royal is only ten minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station.

Nottingham Theatre Royal 18th - 20th Mar 2014 7:00pm
Contact Details
Theatre Square
Nottingham
NG1 5ND
Important Information

By Car

Follow signs for the city centre and the 'Royal Zone'. Nearest car parks are Talbot Street car park and Crowne Plaza Hotel car park on Wollaton Street.
For maps and information about on-street parking, off-street car parks, park and ride and the blue badge scheme please visit Parking In Nottingham

By Bus

For bus times call Nottingham City Transport on 0115 950 6070, Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk   Find out about our £1 return bus ticket here.

By Tram

 The 'Royal Centre' tram stop is directly outside the venue and runs every 10 minutes until midnight. There are five Park and Ride sites along the route. Visit www.thetram.net or call 0115 942 7777 for full details of the tram route. Find out about our £1 return tram ticket here.

By Rail

Nottingham Station is a 15 minute walk or a short taxi or tram ride from the venue. Call 0845 748 4950 or www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times and fares. 

Comments

What you say

Comment from Sally Clark

No-profile-image

Sally Clark said ago

I came with my daughter to see Macbeth and we both came away thrilled with the experience. We particularly loved the set: the washed-out colours where nothing gives hope, echoing the substance of the play throughout; the witches perched on the backdrop, ever-present; the starkness of the hospital bed and blinds; the brilliant use of the 'trees' right from the start. It concentrated the audience on the cast - and what a cast. Lady Macbeth was stunning - so controlling, oozing sensuality, so very believable, and what a voice! All were very good. Very pleased that it was in Verdi's Italian, but the 'sotto-titoli' were useful whilst at the same time discreet. Lastly, the excellent lighting played such a big part in the performance - particularly effective when Macduff was walking through the distraught crowd. Hats off to all involved!

Comment from dermot stewart

No-profile-image

dermot stewart said ago

Magnificent. Superb sparse infinite expanse of moor receding up into the sky, showing humans linking to spirits with witches linking between. So like the B & W film of McKellan and Dench -dark, brooding.
Prefer opera sung in language of the audience.
A superb night at the opera. How does ON keep up this high standard? -we've been coming up north for over 20 years as London rarely has anything to compare.

Comment from rosalie hooper

No-profile-image

rosalie hooper said ago

We were so disappointed in the 'witches'. Grey domestics and scene shifters - not menacing or spiritual.
If we had not known the story well we would never have sorted out Banquo and MacDuff in their look-a-like suits.
The unremitting greyness - no hint it was Scotland - was depressing.
Lady Macbeth in a M & S suit did not seem to us that she could have inspired Macbeth on any level although her singing was magnificent.
The orchestra as ever was superb.
The staging of Duncan's death was good, the woods pathetic.
As we go to Opera appreciation classes we are perhaps super critical but we much preferred the passion and acting in Girl from the Golden West
Rosalie Hooper

Comment from sammy

No-profile-image

sammy said ago

Brilliantly dark and powerful music. I loved the interpretation and use of shadows and silhouettes. Sometimes some of the voices were hard to hear above the orchestra but others had no problems! A very moving and emotive performance by all, especially the death of Duncan and slaying of McDuff's family.

Comment from Amanda

No-profile-image

Amanda said ago

We loved this production. The floor extending into the horizon was genious and allowed the witches to float eerily. The dramatic death scenes against the back drops and use of the doors and the symbolic use of the trees. My girls and their friends were blown away by by the singing and stage. For many of these teenagers it was their first experience of opera.

Comment from D. Clemmitt

No-profile-image

D. Clemmitt said ago

A wonderful evening of beautiful music. The orchestra and chorus were outstanding. Macbeth and his lady handled their heavy roles with consistency throughout but my favourite voice belonged to Macduff ! The lighting was dramatic and enhanced the performance on a minimalist set. I did have problems with the costumes, however, finding it hard to identify the main players from the rest of the cast. Although the greys/blacks were important to the overall feel of the play, some differentiation could have been made by incorporating richer fabrics. Overall, a great production. Thank you.

Comment from K Martin

No-profile-image

K Martin said ago

The only trouble with performances in DJs and grey greatcoats - apart from lack of visual spectacle - is that it's hard for beginers to recognise the singer's status. Leave the DJ version at home! Give the leading characters costumes that show their status - surely that was the original intention. The we'd be able to recognise the king and the queen instantly, for instance.

Comment from les sturch

No-profile-image

les sturch said ago

really enjoyable production, clever and dramatic staging, loved the witches sitting on the backcloth. Well played and beautifully sung, and a full chorus. Shame ON don't get to Sheffield any more!

Comment from Peter Bloodworth

No-profile-image

Peter Bloodworth said ago

A P.S. on the vexed subjects of subtitles and programmes.
My neighbours were a young Scots coupled who I suspect were on their first visit to an opera. At the interval the man said "I would be enjoying it more if I really knew what was going on!" He bemoaned his dim memories of the play from schooldays and felt that the subtitles left gaps. A good plot synopsis is surely the answer, but £4 for a programme is a lot to pay for those of sitting in the Upper Balcony. .ON should consider making a plot summary available free as we enter or, better still, running the synopsis on the screens a few minutes before each curtain up.

Comment from Peter Bloodworth

No-profile-image

Peter Bloodworth said ago

Bravo, Helen, for daring to say that some of this opera is dreadful tosh which makes a mockery of the claim that Verdi stayed so close to the original.No disrespect to Lady Macbeth who danced her flirtatious dance well, but that number made a mockery of one of the most gripping scenes in the play.
Verdi was right that the witches are the third protagonist and he certainly would have approved of the ON chorus who gave me all the spine-tingling, hair on end moments of the evening. Chorus and orchestra can be relied upon to make any night at the opera worth hearing, whatever reservations one might have about the work or the production.

Comment from janet causton

No-profile-image

janet causton said ago

Superb , it was a birthday pressi for our 85yr old dad and we had a front row seat and a thoroughly wonderful night .

Comment from Helen

No-profile-image

Helen said ago

Lovely singing from Macbeth, Macduff and Banquo, and the production worked. Well done ON - again. But are we the only people to think Verdi's tumpity tump doesn't actually go with the story very well? Wagner branded him a hurdy-gurdy man (or something similar) and I started to see what he meant.

Comment from patrick

No-profile-image

patrick said ago

Superb production, set design and lighting. Orchestra and male chorus impressive (but female chorus often off the tempi). The two principals (Macbeth and Lady Macbeth) are excellent.
The pre-performance introductory talk was a bit disappointing. It would have been more interesting to hear someone from the production team discuss their approach to the opera. Similarly, the printed programme would have been improved by an article by a member of the production team.

Comment from Ted

No-profile-image

Ted said ago

Powerful orchestral playing and chorus singing in the best Verdi manner. Beautifully smooth and subtle choreography. Ingenious but simple staging. Fine soloists, especially Banquo, Macbeth and Lady M, though the latter was a bit Wagnerian in Act 1 -- she is evil and scheming but needs to be more subtle and not a battle-axe! Macduff's aria was well-delivered though one had to know the Shakespearian story to know what he was singing about.

Comment from Peter Cahill

No-profile-image

Peter Cahill said ago

A superb night's entertainment. Wonderful singing, no weak leaks and Verdi's beautiful and dramatic score.
More please and more often.

Comment from Beth Rudkin

No-profile-image

Beth Rudkin said ago

The best thing I have ever seen from Opera North. Absolutely brilliant

Comment from James Fox

No-profile-image

James Fox said ago

An outstanding production with dark and bleak settings that really brought home the drama - The singers and chorus were excellent and the Orchestra under Tobias Ringborg was utterly superb. I highly recommend seeing this.

Leave a comment

What the critics say

Tobias Ringborg conducts with subtlety and energy [...] Verdi would have approved.

The Arts Desk - Read full review

Under Tobias Ringborg's baton the production is skilfully paced, the momentum sustained with no loss of detail, the orchestral playing full of drama and colour. The chorus makes the most of its central role, from the grotesque spells of the Witches to a heart-felt "Patria oppressa", one of Verdi's great choruses of patriotic freedom.

What's On Stage - Read full review

It's a bleak, unnerving piece of theatre that examines the corruption of intimacy by violence in a world where power is all. Personal and social boundaries are continuously under threat.

The Guardian - Read full review

Béla Perencz is electifying as Macbeth. Paul Whelan as Banquo and Jung Soo Yun as Macduff, despite being consigned to the margins by Giuseppe Verdi, added huge depth of feeling to their characters with their glorious voices.

The Yorkshire Times - Read full review

The Orchestra of Opera North, on this occasion conducted by Tobias Ringborg, proves itself once again to be top-flight.

Bachtrack - Read full review

Additional Information

Cast
  • Macbeth Béla Perencz
  • Lady Macbeth Kelly Cae Hogan
  • Macduff Jung Soo Yun
  • Banquo Paul Whelan
  • Malcolm Robyn Lyn Evans
  • Lady in Waiting Victoria Sharp
  • Doctor Dean Robinson
Creative Team
  • Conductor Tobias Ringborg (ex 18, 20 March)
  • Conductor Martin Pickard (18, 20 March)
  • Director Tim Albery
  • Set Designer Johan Engels
  • Costume Designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel
  • Lighting Designer Bruno Poet
  • Choreographer Maxine Braham

Newsletter sign-up

Enter your email below: