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Om Verdi's Macbeth
Verdi sensed that Shakespeare's Macbeth should adapt successfully into an opera. It had suitable ingredients, a murder, a mad, sleepwalking queen, and witches who prophesy that Macbeth will become king of Scotland although he would not found a dynasty. Spurred on by Lady Macbeth, he aims to murder anybody who constitutes a threat to his ambitions. A subsequent prophecy seems to confirm his invincibility: 'none born of woman' would harm him; and, to depose him, Birnham Wood would have to move against him. When the exiles and his long suffering subjects seek to depose him, their army used trees from the Wood to disguise their approach. And it transpired that their general was born by Caesarean birth, thus strictly speaking was not born of woman. Macbeth is killed. Meanwhile Lady Macbeth goes mad and dies.Verdi took immense trouble over the production which was successfully premired in Florence in 1847. The Macbeth which we normally hear today is the revised version premired in Paris in1865, which included Lady Macbeth's aria La luce langue.Little is known of the real Macbeth, an eleventh century king of Scotland. Some say he was a good king who ruled in prosperous times. Who knows! Short Guides to Great Operas written by Michael Steen, author of the acclaimed The Lives and Times of the Great Composers, are concise, entertaining, and easy-to-read books about opera. They are packed with useful information and informed opinion, helping to make you a truly knowledgeable opera-goer, and so maximising your enjoyment of a great musical experience.Each at around the price you pay for a standard opera-house programme, and available from all popular ebook retailers and ereaders, they are the perfect accompaniment to a night at an opera - whether that's at home, or at the opera house, or in the cinema for opera on screen, such as ROH Live, Met Opera HD Live, or Glyndebourne Festival in cinemas.Also available: Great Operas - A Guide to 25 of the World's Finest Musical Experiences. A compendium of Short Guides for the opera-goer who wants a wider-ranging reference to the masterpieces of the art form.