Subcategories

Claude D'Anna, Riccardo Chailly, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Leo Nucci, Shirley Verrett - Verdi: Macbeth (2007)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Claude D'Anna, Riccardo Chailly, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Leo Nucci, Shirley Verrett - Verdi: Macbeth (2007)

Claude D'Anna, Riccardo Chailly, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Leo Nucci, Shirley Verrett - Verdi: Macbeth (2007)
NTSC 4:3 (720x480) | Italiano (LinearPCM, 2 ch) | (DTS, 6 ch) | 132 min+45 min (bonus) | 5.69+6.30 Gb (2xDVD9)
Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | Sub: Italiano, English, Deutsch, Francais, Espanol, Chinese | Recorded: 1997

Claude D'Anna's film of Verdi's Macbeth is a gloomy affair, stressing the descent into madness of the principal villains. It's acted by the singers of the Decca recording of the opera (with two substitutions of actors standing in for singers) and the lip-synching is generally unobtrusive. The musical performance is superb, conducted by Riccardo Chailly with admirable fire, and sung by some of the leading lights of the opera stages of the 1980s. Shirley Verrett virtually owned the role of Lady Macbeth at the time, and she delivers a terrific performance, the voice equal to the role's wide register leaps and it's suffused with emotion, whether urging her husband on to murder or maddened by guilt in the Sleepwalking Scene. Leo Nucci's resonant Macbeth may lack the ultimate in vocal color and steadiness (his last notes of the great aria Pietà, rispetto, amore are wobbly) but he compensates with intensity in both singing and acting. Samuel Ramey's sonorous bass is the soundtrack Banquo, who's acted by Johan Leysen. Philip Volter is the actor playing Macduff to the brilliant tenor of Veriano Luchetti. So there's little to fault in this performance of a middle-period Verdi opera that's all too rarely done these days despite its Shakespearean pedigree and tuneful but dramatic score.
This film version was hailed in Europe when it was released, but some viewers may find it excessively gloomy while others will feel it suits the dark tale of ambition, crime, and madness. D'Anna's witches are primordial creatures first seen crawling out of the slime of a corpse-filled battlefield. Most of the film takes place in Macbeth's castle, shot in an actual 10th-century Belgian castle's subterranean series of rooms, armories, dungeons, and tunnels. Lady Macbeth's Letter Scene is filmed with Verrett wandering down staircases and through tunnels, all in long shots. Duncan's arrival is like a traveling circus troupe, preceded by a fire eater and a juggler, the king carried in a covered litter, only his hand emerging to be kissed by Macbeth and to stroke the head of the man about to murder him. Banquo's ghost is made visible, seated on Macbeth's throne during the debaucheries of the Banquet Scene.
These and other directorial choices are driven by D'Anna's personal vision of the play and the music, often taking his cue from the latter, as in Duncan's arrival which Verdi set to jaunty orchestral music. Others reflect his linkage of crime with the Macbeth couple's sexual dependence. But his vision of the narrative and of specific scenes doesn't violate Shakespeare's story or Verdi's opera, though there will be moments when sensitive viewers may prefer to glance away from the sheer ugliness of the witches or wonder why the singers occasionally turn their backs to the cameras in mid-aria. Much is explained though, in the 45-minute film on the second DVD on the making of the film in which the sheer physical obstacles of the project are explicated and the director's choices clarified.
–Dan Davis

Performer:
Macbeth - Leo Nucci
Lady Macbeth - Shirley Verrett
Banco - Samuel Ramey (Johan Leysen)
Dama - Anna Caterina Antonacci
Macduff - Veriano Luchetti (Philippe Volter)
Malcolm - Antonio Barasorda
Fleanzio - Nicolas Sansier
Medico - Sergio Fontana
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Conductor - Riccardo Chailly
Directed by Claude D'Anna

Claude D'Anna, Riccardo Chailly, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Leo Nucci, Shirley Verrett - Verdi: Macbeth (2007)
Claude D'Anna, Riccardo Chailly, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Leo Nucci, Shirley Verrett - Verdi: Macbeth (2007)
Claude D'Anna, Riccardo 			  		   	  		  	   		 			  	 			   		      	 			   		      	 			   		   				 Chailly, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Leo Nucci, Shirley Verrett - Verdi: Macbeth (2007)
Claude D'Anna, Riccardo Chailly, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Leo Nucci, Shirley Verrett - Verdi: Macbeth (2007)