Verdi’s Macbeth in Leeds
Yes, we know that Verdi’s version of Macbeth is, simple, even simplistic, compared with the original. Yet with its directness, vigour and musical inventiveness, it carries a definite punch. The cast which Opera North had assembled for this revival had the capacity to deliver, particularly the American Kelly Cae Hogan who gave a compelling performance as Lady Macbeth. Tim Albery’s production had some very good moments – especially those in which fantasy overtook reality – but, perhaps because he felt the need to compensate for shortcomings in the libretto, it was too complicated. Too much happened on the stage, with beds, trees and chairs being lugged on, off and around. And did the abortion and multiple birth scenes really add to the drama? Fortunate that Verdi and the commitment of the performers surmounted these handicaps.