The interior of the Teatro della pergola in Florence
The last few days have been very rewarding—I have heard more than 100 singers from 30 countries, and attended a performance of Verdi’s original 1847 version of MACBETH (which I had never had an opportunity to hear “live”) in the very theatre in which it premiered, Florence’s Teatro della pergola.
It is a charming little opera house with fewer than 1,000 seats and superb acoustics. Since the company moved to the larger (and more modern) Teatro comunale in the 1960’s, opera performances in the Pergola are rare, and this felt like a great privilege.
The production, part of the annual festival known as the Maggio musicale (which in spite of the name extends past May well into June) was by British director Graham Vick. It was a “modern” production and had a sort of MAD MEN feel (imagine Don and Betty Draper as Mr. and Mrs. MacBeth) and was extremely clever if not altogether persuasive. The witches in their scenes were streetwalkers strung out on drugs, and the ghostly apparitions that haunt MacBeth were also brought on by the use of illegal substances. [Read more…]