Aldeburgh, Snape Maltings, Macbeth – English Touring Opera, IOCO Kritik, 18.04.2019

Aldeburgh Festival / Snape Maltings Concert Hall © Philip Vile

Aldeburgh Festival / Snape Maltings Concert Hall © Philip Vile

Snape Maltings Aldeburgh Festival

 Benjamin Britten Gedenkmuschel am Meeresufer von Snape © IOCO

Benjamin Britten Gedenkmuschel am Meeresufer von Snape © IOCO

Snape Maltings ist eine bedeutende Kulturstätte in Suffolk, England, in der Nähe der kleinen Orte Snape und Aldeburgh gelegen. Bereits vor 2000 errichteten die Römer erste Siedlungen in Snape und bauten Salzfertigungen. Snape und Aldeburgh erreichten durch auffällige kulturelle Aktivitäten überregionale Bedeutung. Benjamin Britten (*1913 – 1976) gründete dort 1948 das jährlich stattfindende international geschätzte Aldeburgh Festival und errichtete in der Folge Konzerthaus (Foto).  Eine übergroße ins Meeresufer vor Snape errichtete Muschel erinnert auffällig an Benjamin Britten, den großen Sohn der Region Snape und Aldeburgh. Hier eine weitere IOCO Rezeption aus Snape Maltings, link:  Dardanus von Jean-Philippe Rameau

IOCO – Korrespondentin Janet Banks besuchte die Macbeth Produktion der English Touring Opera (see video) in der Concert Hall von Snape Maltings: Privat betriebene Touring Opera Companies sind erneut eine britische Besonderheit: im deutschen Sprachraum nahezu unbekannt, in England jedoch häufig anzutreffen.


Macbeth – Giuseppe Verdi

 Produziert von – English Touring Opera

by Janet Banks

English Touring Opera was about halfway through touring the UK with three early works by great operatic composers, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Rossini’s Elizabeth I and Verdi’s Macbeth, when I witnessed this gripping production at Snape Maltings, home of the Aldeburgh Festival.

Tristan und Verdi’s Macbeth | Production Trailer
Youtube Trailer  English Touring Opera
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James Dacre’s production was dramatically engrossing, hitting home time and again, largely thanks to excellent performances by the two lead singers, Madeleine Pierard as Lady Macbeth and Grant Doyle as Macbeth. Pierard had a strong stage presence and powerful body language – everything seemed more intense when she was on stage – and her full-throated soprano was more than a match for Giuseppe Verdi’s vocal acrobatics in Act I Scene 2. Her restless writhings before her suicide in the final act made a powerful contrast to her aggressive confidence in the party which closes Act 2.

The scenes between Pierard and Doyle as Macbeth were particularly intense. Doyle brought a lurking sense of foreboding into his voice from early in the opera and his Act 4 Scene 3 final aria showed impressive dramatic range. Sung in English in a good translation by Andrew Porter, any words which were not audible (and they were very few) were still not lost, thanks to TV screens either side of the stage which relayed the libretto, plus the setting for each act.

English Touring Opera / Machbeth © Richard Hubert Smith

English Touring Opera / Machbeth © Richard Hubert Smith

Designer Frankie Bradshaw’s constumes set the production in the present day: Macbeth politician-like in suit and tie, Lady Macbeth either in silky night attire or a short, smart party dress, the rest of the male characters in military uniform or fatigues. Staging was bare but effective – a chaise longue doubling as a throne, concrete bunker-type walls for the castle, and a nice modern touch when Banquo’s assassins climb up to unplug a security camera before his murder. It’s always a challenge to know what to do with the witches, especially with their far from haunting music. However the green-clad nursing nuns (see foto above) with their Florence Nightingale-like lamps and choreographed movements failed to spook me.

Andrew Slater was a deep-toned and noble Banquo and Amar Muchhala a moving Macduff in his beautiful lyric tenor aria lamenting his failure to protect his wife and children. There was much well-disciplined singing from the chorus, particularly in their a cappella chorale after Duncan’s murder.

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