Sunday, October 12, 2014

Macbeth - HD Live

When I purchased them, the tickets for Macbeth had the row and seat number written on the stub – assigned seating.   No use going early when the best seats are already sold out.

Tonia joined us . She had the theatre manager print a seat anywhere, for she knew she would look for an empty seat somewhere near us in the theatre.

She arrived with perfect timing. Thirty seconds of hellos and the cameras began to roll.

Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera
Anna Netrebko deserves all of the praise she is getting for her portray of Lady Macbeth. Zeljko Lucic, (Macbeth) is new to me, but not to the international opera scene where he has been singing since 1993. Lucic and Netrebko brought down the house. They had good backup. Verdi sometimes wants his chorus to sing quadrupled pianissimo. That is a quiet sound for a big chorus to achieve. For a five minute video of the final chorus from the first act go to Lucic’s biography and listen in.
 Today’s opera performances are a far cry from the days when the singers stood on the stage and delivered their melodies. The acting and the choreography are flawless.

The story, we all know, is going to go downhill. The comic relief mitigated the sadness of it all. Tonia and I were laughing so hard in the opening scene where Macbeth meets the witches and their weird sisters. The costuming and the pantomiming of their witchcraft was playful. In the scene where they chant about the “eye of newt, and toe of frog, / wool of bat, and tongue of dog, / adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting / lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,-- at that point, the witches had a tasting party – feeding the brew to little girls, washing the concoction down the throats of the little girls with water, and then holding a bucket for the them as they wretched and the puked into the containers. Funny the first time; funnier the second time; rib-cracking the third time. I wondered how much fun the little girls had learning to perform that part.

That might not have been the place where I laughed during the show.

Another great moment of humour was a post-modern 1 ½ minute video that the Met Live showed the audience during the intermission. In Calgary there was a whole theatre full of people with white hair and about 1/10 of us were using walkers or canes. Tonia said that the youngest person in the theatre was probably sitting to me and he wasn’t young.

The video purported to tell the whole tale of Mabeth in 1 ½ minutes. I held onto my chair, I was laughing so hard. I may have been laughing most of all because the rest of the audience was stunned. This is probably the first time I have ever understood postmodern video and I know why the other people my age weren’t laugh. Generally, anyone over 60 just doesn’t get it. The announcer said that the video can be watched at HD Live. I tried to find it, but I can never complete any of my searches for I find something else interesting along the way.

An extra treat during the intermission was having a fight scene being rehearsed for the last time before the act began. I think we were seeing the final moves between Macbeth and Macduff before Malcolm is proclaimed king. The rehearsal was going on in the background as the interviewer was speaking to all of us about something else.

That is the thing about the Met -- always more than your money’s worth.


PS.  Coming soon ...

Vatican Museums ED - Sun, Oct 19
Frankenstein (Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature) - Wed., Oct 15
Frankenstein (Johnny Lee Miller as the creature) - Wed., Oct 22
Bolshoi Ballet - Legned of Love, Sun Oct 26

1 comment:

  1. Have to miss them all. Will catch the encores.