Macbeth Opens at Winter Opera St. Louis Friday

The Scottish play will be sung in Italian, as God (and Verdi) intended

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge Macbeth (Michael Eugene Nansel, standing left) and Lady Macbeth (Whitney Myers, seated in the foreground) set off a murder spree in Macbeth.
REBECCA HAAS
Macbeth (Michael Eugene Nansel, standing left) and Lady Macbeth (Whitney Myers, seated in the foreground) set off a murder spree in Macbeth.

How does a Scottish play sound in Italian? That's an answer Winter Opera St. Louis plans to illuminate over the course of several hours each this Friday and Sunday as the company presents Macbeth at Kirkwood Performing Arts Center (210 East Monroe Avenue, 314-759-1455). In this Macbeth, the lord doesn't just sing his part — he goes by "Macbetto."

The music comes from Giuseppe Verdi, the first time the brilliant Italian opera composer took on the challenge of adapting Shakespeare for opera (Francesco Maria Piave wrote the libretto). After his blockbusters Rigoletto and La traviata, Verdi would return to the Bard again, with Otello and Falstaff adaptations of Othello and The Merry Wives of Windsor, respectively.

While local audiences used to Opera Theatre St. Louis and its English translations may initially be intimidated by opera performed in its original language, they may quickly become converts to Winter Opera St. Louis' style — Italian, it must be said, rolls off a singer's tongue in a way English never will.

Also aiding this production, says director John A. Stephens, is its home at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center: "The intimacy of the theater allows us to examine more deeply the nuances of Verdi's score, and the complexities of Shakespeare's characters."

The opera runs this weekend only. The Friday, January 20, show begins at 7:30 p.m.; on Saturday, January 22, catch it at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online.

click to enlarge In this Macbeth, the witches are not a trio but a chorus.
REBECCA HAAS
In this Macbeth, the witches are not a trio but a chorus.

Coming soon: Riverfront Times Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting St. Louis stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing.

Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
Scroll to read more Arts Stories & Interviews articles (1)

Newsletters

Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.