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マクベス

4幕からなるオペラ

イタリア語で上演されます
(ロシア語と英語の同時字幕付き)

Performers

指揮者:

アントン・トルベエフ

マクベス: Vyacheslav Vasilyev
バンコー: Sergei Pleshivtsev
マクベス夫人: Alena Diyanova
マクダフ: Alexei Smirnov

Credits

ジュゼッペ・ヴェルディによる作曲

ウィリアム・シェイクスピアの同名悲劇が原作で、フランチェスコ・マリア・ピアーヴェによるリブレット

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Stage Director: David McVicar
Set Designer: Tanya McCallin
Lighting Designer: David Cunningham
Musical Preparation: Olga Krukovich
Principal Chorus Master: Larisa Shveikovskaya, Anna Pipia
Assistant Director: Anna Shishkina

SYNOPSIS

オペラの場所は、スコットランド、そしてスコットランドとイギリスの国境である。

第1幕
魔女らは夜の闇の中で占い、歌い、そして魔術を使っている。しかし、マクベスのアプローチを知らせるドラムの音は、悪魔のような踊りと歌を妨げる。ダンカン王の将軍であるマクベスとバンコーが登場し、戦場から勝利しての帰途、魔女らが乱舞しているのに出逢う。魔女らはマクベスを歓迎し、「マクベスはグラミスの領主、コーダーの領主となり、やがては王となる。バンコーは王の祖先となろう」と予言し姿を消す。そこへダンカン王の使者が到着、戦いでの勝利のためマクベスがコーダー領主に任命されたことを伝える。このように一番目の予言が成就した。バンコーは、王位への昇格について考えているマクベスが心配。

マクベス夫人は、魔女らの予言の内容を伝えるマクベスが寄越した手紙を読み上げている。彼女は夫が王位をつかむのを助ける決心をしている。急使が、ダンカン王とマクベスが城に向かっていると伝えた時点、マクベス夫人は行動する時が来たと判断し、悪の勢力に助けを求める。夫人が好機到来と狂喜しているところへマクベスが帰還する。マクベス夫人はすぐに夫をダンカン王を刺殺させるように説得できる。マクベスが夢に見た短剣は、ついに権力のために犯罪を犯すという彼の決意を強める。しかし、犯罪を犯したマクベスは耐え難いほどの後悔を受け始める。マクベス夫人は夫を臆病で非難している。夫人は血にまみれた短剣をとりあげ、ダンカン王の寝室へ入り、王の血で警備員たちを汚して、彼らを殺人の疑惑にさらしたいのである。血まみれの手で、マクベス夫人は夫に戻る。夫は今や自らの所業に対する後悔の感覚で覆われている。

マクダフとバンコーがやってくる。マクダフが王を起こしに去るとき、バンコーはこの夜の恐ろしい前兆について考える。マクダフはダンカン王が暗殺されているのを発見、城内の一同を呼ぶ。誰もが未知の殺人者に対する復讐を誓う。

第2幕
マクベスはスコットランドの王となり、ダンカンの息子マルコムは父の死の容疑でイギリスに隠れることを余儀なくされている。魔女らマクベスの予言「バンコーは王の祖先となる」が気になってならないため、マクベスと夫人は今、息子たちと共にバンコーを殺すことにする。 運命の勝利を予感するマクベス夫人は勝ち誇っている。。。

マクベスに雇われた殺し屋たちは王宮の近くの暗い公園でバンコーを待っている。バンコーが息子のフリンスと2人で現れる。バンコーはすぐに実現する悪い予感で克服されている。バンコーは息子を逃がすことに成功するが、自らは殺される。

マクベスと夫人は、晩餐会にゲストを招待する。マクベス夫人は乾杯を申し出る。公園で何が起こったのかをマクベスに告げる殺し屋の一人が現れる。彼のゲストの前では、マクベスはバンコーが彼らの中にいない理由を知らないふりをするが、しかし、その時バンコーの亡霊は宴会テーブルのマクベスの席に腰をかける。マクベス夫人は夫と不安なお客様を落ち着かせようとしている。亡霊が再び現れ、彼女はもはや混乱した夫に対処することはできない。スコットランドの雲井たちは、国が犯罪者の手に渡ったことを恐れており、マクダフはマクベスを離れて亡命者に加わることを決心する。

第3幕
嵐の夜、魔女らは魔法の薬を醸造し、悪霊を呼び起こす。魔女たちの棲む洞穴にマクベスが現れ、自分の運勢を教えて欲しいと願う。それに応じて、彼女らは3つのビジョンを引き出し、新たな予言は「マクダフには警戒せよ」「女の産道を通ったものにはマクベスは倒せない」「バーナムの森が城に向かって動かない限り怖れることはない」であった。それから、マクベスを通り過ぎて行進する8人の王たち、そして、彼らの後ろに鏡を持って歩くバンコーのビジョンが現れる。マクベスは恐怖をもって、これらの王たちの中でバンコの子孫を認め、気絶する。魔女らは彼を周る踊りを披露して姿を消す。意識を戻したマクベスはマクダフと彼の家族を破壊することを誓う。

第4幕
スコットランドから逃れてきた人々は彼らの抑圧された故国と不幸な人々の苦しみを訴える。マクダフは、自分の妻と子供らがマクベスに殺されたことを知り、悲しんでいる。イングランド軍の助勢を受け、ダンカン王の遺児マルコムが現れる。彼は復讐に慰めを見つけるようにマクダフに促す。マルコムは、マクベスを一緒に攻撃するためスコットランド人を集めて軍勢に、バーナムの森の木を伐り、その枝葉を用いて擬装を行うように命令する。

マクベス夫人は夢幻状態で城内を徘徊しながら、再び夫と一緒に犯した残虐行為を夢の中で見ている。マクベスは周章狼狽の態で軍隊の到着を待って、そして自分の崩壊の必然性を熟考している。彼は、マクベス夫人が狂死したとの報を無関心で出会うほど冷静を失う。続いてバーナムの森が城に向かって動き出したとの兵士たちの報を聞いた時、マクベスは魔女らの予言を思い出す。

今や他の二つの予言が成就される。バーナムの森が動き出したことは、枝葉で偽装して近づいている英国の兵士である。マクベスはマクダフによって追求されて入ってくる。マクダフはマクベスに、彼が自然に生まれたのではなく、期限前に母親の胎内から切開で取り上げられたことを明らかにする。その後の一騎討ちでは、マクベスは愕然としてマクダフの刀で殺害される。ダンカンの息子マルコムは王と宣言される。

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

“Here is my Macbeth, which I love more than my other operas”, wrote Giuseppe Verdi in 1847 to his father-in-law, friend and supporter Antonio Barezzi, to whom the opera score was dedicated. Being “the most daring and most ambitious” of his early works, this opera remained the composer’s favourite child till his death.
The first mention of Macbeth is found in Verdi’s letters of May 1846. By this time Verdi is not just popular, but he has also become the most fashionable composer not only in Italy. The popularity of the young composer (he is thirty-three) has crossed the Alps: Donizetti suggests staging his opera Ernani, which in Italy is already on at twenty-three theatres, in Vienne; similar proposals are received from directors of Parisian and London theatres. The premiere of Attila has just caused furore in Venice, then it’s production has already become even a greater success in Florence, Ferrare, Reggio, Livorno, Rovigo, Vicenze, Padue, Trieste, Cremone. There is not a single, even the smallest, theatre in Italy which has not staged his Nabucco and I Lombardi. The composer is bombarded with commissions from all sides and he works day and night, literally driving himself to nervous exhaustion. Amid other proposals he receives a commission from the impresario Alessandro Lanari to write an opera for della Pergola Theatre in Florence.
As usual, Verdi considers several possible subjects for work, this time — Die Rauber by Schiller (later set to music with the Italian title, Masnadieri), Die Ahntrau by Grillparzer and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Gradually the composer’s thoughts center around Die Rauber and Macbeth and he starts developing both plots, not quite knowing yet, which one to prefer. However, as it often happens, the situation was resolved by the circumstances, in this case — by availability of singers selected by the composer. Verdi wrote Die Rauber, having in mind the brilliant tenor Gaetano Franceschini for the main part, but for a number of reasons the contract between the theatre and Franceschini was not concluded. Other eligible tenors could not be found and Verdi and Lanari decided in favour of Macbeth, as the title part was written for baritone, and a lead tenor ceased to be needed. The composer put aside the half-written score of Die Rauber and focused his efforts on Macbeth.
Verdi had always been interested in meaningful, profound, significant plotlines. At various times he had turned his attention to works by Lord Byron, Hugo, Schiller, Verner, Volter, Euripides, Racin, Dumas.. Macbeth was the composer’s first encounter with Shakespeare. And it was Shakespeare that brought up in his mind the theme, which later became one of the central subjects in the composer’s works, — “the tragedy of a man of spirit overwhelmed by a fatal passion”. The main hero of the play is the leader of the Scottish army Macbeth — a real “renaissance” character. Being a man of outstanding abilities — strong, courageous, talented, energetic, fearless, Macbeth, unlike the characters of early Shakespeare’s tragedies Iago and Edmund, who absolutely rejected goodness, undoubtedly knew the difference between good and evil. This makes the tragic contradiction even sharper: being possessed by his insatiable hunger for power, Macbeth agrees on a crime, thus, knowingly dooming himself to destructive pangs of consciousness, madness, moral and physical destruction.
Verdi was enthralled by strength and passion of powerful characters, complex and conflicting situations, a combination of dramatism and sublime poetry, so typical of Shakespeare’s works. On no other opera, before or after Macbeth, did Verdi work so much, so scrupulously and so thoroughly.
Using his instinct as a musician and a dramatist, he personally wrote “a detailed prose version of the drama, showing the distribution of the acts, the scenes and the musical numbers”. Only after that he sends the complete synopsys to his librettist Francesco Maria Piave, accompanying it with a note: “Here is the draft of Macbeth. This tragedy is one of the greatest creations of man! … If we cannot make something great with it, let us at least try to do something out of the ordinary. The draft is clear: unconventional, simple, and short. I beg you to make the verses also short; the shorter they are the more effect you’ll make…not a superfluous word must they contain. Brevity and sublimity”.
Verdi got increasingly dissatisfied with Piave. Insistent demands interchanged with detailed instructions, instructions — with reproaches, reproaches turned into flair-ups of irritation and anger. And, at last, in January 1847 Verdi abruptly broke up with Piave — the future librettist of his Le Corsaire, Stiffelio, Rigoletto, La traviata, Simon Boccanegra, Aroldo, La forza del destino and the second version of Macbeth — and called on Andrea Maffei, another friend and distinguished Italian poet and writer, to revise and finish the libretto together. Such composer’s preoccupation with the text of Macbeth was not without a reason. Adequate adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy to music required overcoming the attitude to a word as to a subordinate element of opera, fully dependant on the development of a melodic line. In Macbeth a poetic word regains its dramatically effective meaning.
Naturally, Verdi could not use the text of the tragedy without making necessary alterations: many things were reduced or omitted. A number of scenes and characters disappeared, the characters opposing Macbeth — Malcolm and Macduff were simplified, and the character of King Duncan was present only perfunctorily. The most significant addition was introduction of a new chorus, of Scottish refugees, at the beginning of Act IV. This new emphasis on the theme of the liberation of a country under occupation couldn’t fail to receive a supportive response among Italian public, as it coincided with general patriotic sentiment prevalent in the country before the revolution of 1848-1849. Yet, for the first time in Verdi’s operatic experience, the anti-tyrannical motive receded into the background. The composer’s primary focus was on the fate of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
It was the first time that Verdi had written an opera without a traditional love affair. Instead he explored gloomy solemnity of history, the greatness and significance of extraordinary personalities: Lady Macbeth’s passionateness, lust for power, willpower and resolution, Macbeth’s painful pathos, spiritual turmoil, consternation, as well as dramatism of feelings and evill associated with the struggle for power. It was in music, characterizing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, that Verdi managed to translate original Shakespeare’s verses. Of special note in this respect is the scene of sleepwalking where the original text of the tragedy was only slightly abridged.
Still, it would be unfair to think of Macbeth only in terms of personal tragedy of the main characters. According to Verdi, there are “three main characters in the drama: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the Witches: The witches dominate the drama; everything derives from them — coarse and gossipy in the first act, sublime and prophetic in the third. They are truly a character, and a character of the utmost importance.” Instead of using there soloists — witches, the composer introduced three groups of chorus, considering that a powerful choral recitation would produce a necessary dramatic effect.
The next step was work with singers. For Macbeth, Verdi did not need virtuoso singers, who were reigning on the Italian operatic stage at that time. Trying to raise the genre of opera to the level of high tragedy, the composer set down new, unprecedented for Italian opera requirements to artists. Breaking all possible conventions, he put dramatic expressiveness and meaningfulness of performance before beautiful voice and singing skills.
In this respect, the choice of performers appears quite illustrative. Verdi wrote Macbeth for the baritone Felice Varesi and insisted upon him for the title role. The composer was even prepared to come into conflict with Lanari, as the impresario had already contracted another brilliant baritone — Gaetano Ferri. Trying to convince Lanari to reject Ferri, Verdi writes to him: “I don’t deny the merits of Ferri, who has a more handsome presence and a more beautiful voice, and, if you like, sings better, but not even he could create the effect in this role that Varesi would’. Similar ‘paradoxical” requirements Verdi applied to the performer of Lady Macbeth. He formulated them in 1848 in a detailed letter, protesting against the talented singer Eugenia Tadolini: “Tadolini looks beautiful and good, and I should like lady Macbeth to look ugly and evil. Tadolini sings to perfection, and I should like Lady Macbeth not to sing at all. Tadolini has a stupendous voice - clear, limpid, powerful: I should like in Lady Macbeth a voice rough, harsh and gloomy. Tadolini’s voice has angelic qualities: I should like the voice of Lady Macbeth to have something diabolic about it”. The composer intended this part for Marianna Barbieri-Nini, who, according to her contemporaries, had plain looks, but possessed a strong, expressive soprano and was a wonderful actress.
Then, Verdi literally bombarded performers with letters. In each letter, together with new fragments of their parts, he provided detailed instructions about his vision of characters “so great, so energetic, so original”, theirs vocal, and, most importantly, dramatic execution. Verdi involves himself closely in the work’s staging. He does not miss a single, even seemingly most insignificant, detail. He is concerned not only with the quality of execution of supporting roles, the number of chorus members, the composition and placement of the stage orchestra, but also decorations, costumes, mise en scenes, make-up, lightening, special effects. Verdi is frantically active: he has “eminent scholars do research about epoch and costumes”, writes to London to find out the way Macbeth is staged in Shakespeares’s homeland and orders there sketches for the costumes; consults prominent theatre designers about the use of a new magic lantern technique.
Disregarding singers’ caprices, Verdi sometimes openly resorted to pressure and continued rehearsing till the curtain was up. He wanted the level of the new production to be substantially different from what the audience and performers were used to. Macbeth premiered at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence on March 14, 1847. The first presentation received mixed responses, which according to various sources ranged from “got quite a cold receipt” to “had a triumphant success”. However, “a triumphant success” was supported by the fact that the opera was immediately staged at dozens of theatres in Italy and soon spread over to other countries. Ten years later its performance history included over two hundred productions: in 1849 opera was staged in Vienna, in 1850 - in New York and two years later in Stockholm, in 1854 Macbeth was heard in St Petersburg, and in 1860 the part of Lady Macbeth was performed by the virtuoso Polina Viardo in Manchester.
In March 1864, Verdi received an offer to stage the opera at Paris’ Théâtre Lyrique. Because it was traditional for all operas in Paris to include a ballet, Verdi began the revision of the scores and found them “either weak, or lacking in character, which is worse still.” This resulted in the creation of a new Paris version of the opera.
Revision of Macbeth was the greatest effort ever undertaken by Verdi in respect of any of his early works. Almost one third of the music to the opera was either revised or rewritten. The composer strove to enhance the dramatic expressiveness of the heroes’ musical characteristics. Thus, in the second version Lady Macbeth receives a new, more profound interpretation. She becomes the central character. Such reassessment was probably a result of impressions Verdi received at performances of the Shakespeare’s tragedy he had first seen in London in 1847. The Paris version of Macbeth was a moderate success. Verdi blamed the singers, critics associated the opera’s failure with the composer's poor knowledge and understanding of Shakespeare’s works. The composer was very indignant: “Oh, in this they are very wrong. It may be that I have not rendered Macbeth well, but that I don’t know, don’t understand, and don’t feel Shakespeare — no, by God, no. He is a favorite poet of mine, whom I have had in my hands from earliest youth, and whom I read and reread constantly”. The composer remained faithful to this love all his life. The list of Verdi’s Shakespeare-based operas, which Macbeth started, and which was continued by King Lear, are crowned by such acclaimed Verdi’s operatic masterpieces as Othello and Falstaff.
The stage history of Macbeth in the XX century features variety of productions staged by almost all leading opera companies around the world. Unfortunately, until recently Russian theatres were an exception. In 2001, which was designated by UNESCO the Year of Verdi, Macbeth was for the first time performed on stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Svetlana Kotlyarenko


World premiere: 14 March 1847, Teatro della Pergola, Florence
Premiere of this production: 18 April 2001, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Premiere at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre: 26 January 2017, Vladivostok

Running time: 3 hours 15 minutes
The performance has two intervals

Age category 16+

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