Opera Scotland

Macbeth 2017Teatro Regio, Turin

Read more about the opera Macbeth

2017 is the 70th year of the Edinburgh Festival, and the opera programme is a celebratory one with a distinctly expanded line-up of nine works. For the first time for ages, we have a residency by a major visiting company, the Teatro Regio, Torino, with Macbeth, the opera that opened that first Festival back in 1947, and La bohème. never before seen at the Festival, and a work that was launched at the Teatro Regio back in 1896. Scottish Opera provide a new staging of Greek, Turnage's ground-breaking piece that was a Festival co-commission in 1988. There is also a strongly cast  staging of Don Giovanni.

The operas to be performed in concert include Die Walküre, the second instalment of the Festival's survey of the Ring, as well as Peter Grimes. The 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth is celebrated with a trilogy of concerts in which John Eliot Gardiner conducts L'Orfeo, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria and.L'incoronazione di Poppea, seen together in Edinburgh for the first time since 1978.

There are three further events, not part of the opera programme, but which should be highlighted. No Festival visit is complete without enjoying a morning concert at the Queen's Hall. Here there is a prelude to the Monteverdi event in the form of Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda in a recently discovered transcription by Heinrich Schütz. The gloriously dramatic Damnation of Faust by Berlioz is performed by Mark Elder and the Hallé, while the Festival continues its exploration of rare Elgar with a revival of the cantata King Olaf.

The inclusion of La bohème in the Turin programme is likely to have been because the opera received its premiere there in 1896. The presence of Macbeth is more because of its obvious Scottish aspect, and its association with the Festival itself. It was the first opera to be given at the 1947 Festival by Glyndebourne. At that time it was a rare piece, very little known anywhere, and receiving its Scottish premiere. Since then, Scottish Opera have presented it twice. The David Pountney staging of 1976 was conducted by Alexander Gibson. A second staging by Luc Bondy, under Richard Armstrong, appeared in 2000. Since then, the Festival has itself mounted two concert performances in 2003 and 2009. With this fourth staging Macbeth becomes one of the most frequently performed operas in the history of the Festival.

It should be noted that, while the first two performances on Friday and Saturday start at 7.15, the third, being a Sunday, begins at 5.00. Is this a sign that the Festival authorities have noticed that public transport still tends to stop early on a Sunday? Of the casts assembled, Slovak baritone Dalibor Jenis, in the title role, made an excellent impression in 2014 as William Tell. The Teatro Regio company, in addition to Macbeth and La bohème, will also give a performance of the Verdi Requiem in the Usher Hall on Tuesday, 22 August at 8.00pm. Gianandrea Noseda will conduct, joined by soloists Erika Grimaldi (also Mimì), Daniella Barcellona, Piero Pretti (also Macduff) and Michele Pertusi.

Performance Cast

Macbeth a general in King Duncan's army

Dalibor Jenis (Aug 18, 20)

Gabriele Viviani (Aug 19)

Banquo a general in King Duncan's army

Marko Mimica

Lady Macbeth

Anna Pirozzi (Aug 18, 20)

Oksana Dyka (Aug 19)

Macduff Thane of Fife

Piero Pretti

Lady in waiting

Alexandra Zabala

Performance DatesMacbeth 2017

Map List

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

18 Aug, 19.15 19 Aug, 19.15 20 Aug, 17.00

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