Glyndebourne’s short opera from Luke Styles sets Macbeth in a modern British army unit deployed, judging by their desert fatigues, somewhere in the Middle East East (so, feel free to pick a conflict from the ever-mounting list of today’s tragedies). The libretto is carved straight from Shakespeare’s original by Ted Huffman, who also directs this dynamic, menacing, all-male production: for the first time in opera, Shakespeare’s language remains intact, though his work is significantly cut to produce a nimble, intense 70 minute drama focusing on the psychological over the supernatural.
How much of Macbeth’s actions are predicated by his trained ferocity and strong natural desire for glory, how much by his stiff-upper-lip inability to recognise that he is going insane, that the warm respect of his comrades has turned to disgust and fear? Ed Ballard brings Macbeth carefully from zealous patriot to ruthless power-monger, communicating a mounting sense of excitement as he takes ever harsher steps to secure his position.
Click here to read my full review on Bachtrack.
One thought on “Full of sound and fury: Luke Styles’ Macbeth, Glyndebourne”
Well done, yet again. I must comment that I also saw a Macbeth set in Chicago with 1930’s gangsters. Sid James played a memorable ‘Banksy’. It is such a powerful drama of evolving fate. xxxxx Daddy