‹ Back to What's On Macbeth

7 Feb - 20 Mar 2014

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.

What the critics say

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

The Arts Desk - 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 - 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 - 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 - Full Review ›

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

Bachtrack - Full Review ›



Richard Mantle looks forward to 2014


Opera North General Director, Richard Mantle, talks about the highlights coming up as the Company's focus shifts to the two greatest Italian composers of opera, with Verdi's Macbeth and Puccini's The Girl of the Golden West. Read More

  • 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

Click on the venue below to plan your visit.

Leeds Grand Theatre

Find Us

46 New Briggate
Leeds Grand Theatre

Important Information

Box Office: 0844 848 2720 (calls cost 7ppm)

  • To access the Grand Theatre, there are six steps from the street up to the foyer or a wheelchair lift from the Grand Theatre Box Office to the foyer, and then lift access to the rest of the auditorium (excluding the Upper Balcony). Some areas of the auditorium do have steep stairs and may not be suitable for people with limited mobility. Please check with the Box Office. 
  • There are 6 wheelchair spaces: four in the Stalls and two in the Dress Circle.
  • There are accessible toilets at Stalls and Dress Circle levels. 
  • There is an infra-red system in operation for sound amplification. Headsets are available from the Grand Theatre foyer for a £5 refundable deposit. Please ask Box Office staff when booking for advice on the best seats to use this service. 
  • Support dogs are welcome in the auditorium and can be looked after on request. 
  • For refreshments, there are bars at Stalls, Upper Circle and Balcony levels.  

Choose from these fantastic pre-theatre dining options and make your experience complete!

The Alchemist

Opera North ticket holders can enjoy 20% off their food bill at The Alchemist. Located on the second floor of Trinity Shopping Centre, The Alchemist offers a fantastic menu and stunning views of Leeds City Centre. Not available Saturdays. 

Download Menu | Book online 


Manahatta is a recently opened bar and kitchen located on Merrion Street, just a minute's walk from Leeds Grand Theatre. Serving a fantastic New York inspired menu made with fresh local produce, guests will receive 20% off their food bill before 6.15pm with proof of ticket. Booking is required. 

Download Menu | Book online

North Bar

Opera North and Howard Assembly Room ticket holders can enjoy 10% off all drinks at New Briggate's finest craft beer hotspot — North Bar, just a stone's throw from Leeds Grand Theatre. 

Find out more 


Enjoy 15% off all food and drink at authentic Italian wine bar Veeno (Leeds branch only) on presentation of ticket for an Opera North performance. Excludes Fridays and Saturdays after 5.00pm. 

Download Menu | Book a table 

Veritas Ale & Wine Bar

Enjoy a special pre-opera meal at Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. Just a 5-10 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, choose either two courses for £13.95 (£17.50 with a 175ml house wine) or three courses for £15.95 (£19.50 with a 175ml house wine). Available 5.00-6.30pm. Booking is required.

Download Menu | Book via email or call 0113 242 8094 and quote 'pre-opera menu'

Brasserie Blanc

Sample the fabulous pre-theatre menu at Brasserie Blanc and choose from two courses for £11.95 or three courses for £15.45, with a complimentary glass of fizz for Opera North ticket holders. Located just a 10 minute walk from the Leeds Grand Theatre. Available 12.00-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday. 

Download Menu | Book online or call 0113 220 6060

The Reliance

Just a 5 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, The Reliance bar and dining room offers a fantastic pre-theatre menu. Choose from two courses for £14.45 or three courses for £18.90. Available 5.30-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday.

Download Menu

Salford Quays

Find Us

Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ

Important Information

Box office: 0843 208 6000 

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/


Find Us

100 Grey Street

Important Information

Box office: 08448 112121


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.


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.


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


Find Us

Theatre Square

Important Information

Box Office: 0115 989 5555

Find access details for Nottingham Theatre Royal

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. 


Discover exciting pre-theatre dining options for Nottingham Theatre Royal

What you say

Comment from Sally Clark


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Beth Rudkin said ago

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

Comment from James Fox


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.

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