Ballet & Dance

première in May 2004
Music by Giuseppe Verdi (1847)
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave / Andrea Maffei
5 performances

January 17(Mon)6:30pm, 20(Thu)6:30pm, 23(Sun)3:00pm, 26(Wed)2:00pm,
29(Sat)3:00pm 2005
Approximate running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Conductor: Riccardo Frizza *
Director: Noda Hideki
Scenery Design: Horio Yukio
Costume Design: Wada Emi
Lighting Design: Hattori Motoi

Macbeth: Carlos Alvarez
Lady Macbeth: Iano Tamar
Banquo: Osawa Ken
Macduff: Mizuguchi Satoshi

*Otaka Tadaaki is unable to stage. Alternatively, Riccardo Frizza is taking his place.
Please refer to New National Theatre News.
Macbeth is one of the works from the early years of Verdi when he produced a string of masterpieces filled with patriotism after the great success of Nabucco. Strongly attracted to Shakespearean plays throughout his lifetime, in addition to Macbeth, Verdi wrote the operas Otello and Falstaff. He concentrated all his senses on the essence of Shakespearean drama and attempted to bring music as close to the drama and psychology as possible – so much so that when Macbeth was first performed, he even emphasized that the singers should serve the Bard, and not the composer. Filled with dramatic tension, the music is as gloomy and dismal as the original play and effectively uses dramatic and powerful scena rather than traditional fluent and flowery arias and light, airy recitatives. In particular, the scena for the dialogue between Macbeth and his wife and the scene of Macbeth being haunted by images of Banquo, followed by the grand scena of Lady Macbeth walking in her sleep, are the highlights of the opera. In this production, Noda Hideki, a dramatist, stage director and actor, who is constantly leading contemporary drama in Japan will direct opera for the first time and is bound to attract public attention. Taking death as its theme, Noda’s drama often ends in major characters dying in solitude. It will be extremely interesting to see how he will depict human beings fight with their fate within the restraint of music. Macbeth, will be staged again in May 2004 as a new production, to become a part of the NNTT’s repertoire.
It is Scotland in the 11th century. On their way home from a victory in the war, Macbeth and his fellow general Banquo hear witches in the woods predict that Macbeth shall be Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland and that Banquo shall be the father of kings. Upon Macbeth’s return to the castle, Lady Macbeth, more ambitious than her husband, persuades him to murder Scottish King Duncan, who is to visit the castle to congratulate Macbeth on his victory. As predicted, Macbeth is named King of Scotland, but the prophecy on Banquo worries him and he also plots to kill Banquo and his son. At the banquet celebrating his enthronement, he receives news from his assassins that Banquo was killed but his son escaped. He is then haunted by images of the dead and runs mad. When he goes to see the witches again and demands that they tell him what the future holds for him, the witches say, “Beware of Macduff,” “No man of woman born can harm Macbeth” and “Macbeth shall never be vanquished till Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane.” Macduff, whose wife and son were killed by Macbeth, rises in revolt against Macbeth together with Duncan’s son Malcolm. The English soldiers, who are advancing and disguised with branches taken from Birnam Wood, look like the wood closing in on Dunsinane Hill. In the castle, Lady Macbeth is frightened by illusions of her blood-stained hands and dies mad. Venturing his life for a man-to-man fight with Macbeth, Macduff tells him that he was born by Caesarean section and stabs Macbeth, who, with his fate sealed, has lost his fighting spirit.
  Noda Hideki  
<Main Cast>
Carlos Alvarez Iano Tamar Osawa Ken Mizuguchi Satoshi