Friday, September 6, 2019

Georg Nigl stars in premiere of "Macbeth Underworld"

Georg Nigl as Macbeth (photo: Hugo Segars)

Just four years after the premiere of composer Pascal Dusapin's Penthesilea, he back at the La Monnaie with his newest opera, Macbeth Underworld. The opera is being described as "...a bloodstained Gothic opera, in which the ill-fated couple is condemned to relive its own tragedy, haunting their memory and ours."

Dusapin was less inspired by Shakespeare and Verdi than the cinematic versions of Macbeth for his latest creation, which runs from September 20-October 5. A major inspiration was Roman Polanski’s 1971, a commercial failure that was criticized for its depictions of graphic violence and nudity.

Dusapin knew immediately that he wanted barihunk Georg Nigl for the title role, commenting, "For Macbeth himself it was all much more straightforward. I wanted Georg Nigl. It is my fifth production with him and he can take on anything, from incredible expressiveness through tenderness to absolute folly. The short description on his score just says ‘Macbeth est fou’ – Macbeth is mad. He doesn’t need more than that.”

Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth:

For Lady Macbeth, he drew inspiration from Judi Dench's performance in the 1979 film version. Dusapin said, "Judi Dench was a great model for the scene in which Lady Macbeth washes her hands. The rhythm of her words is spot-on. I copied them out and used them in Macbeth Underworld.”

The remainder of the cast includes Magdalena Kožená as Lady Macbeth,  Graham Clark as Porter and Kristinn Sigmundsson as the Ghost. Tickets are available online.

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