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Giuseppe Verdi Macbeth

Opera in four acts
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on the Drama by William Shakespeare  

New production
In Italian with German and English surtitles

Length of performance: approx. 3 hours and 45 minutes.


  • 03 August 2011, 19:30


  • 06 August 2011, 19:30
  • 09 August 2011, 19:30
  • 12 August 2011, 19:30
  • 16 August 2011, 19:30
  • 19 August 2011, 15:00
  • 22 August 2011, 19:30
  • 24 August 2011, 19:30

Print programme (PDF)


Riccardo Muti, Conductor
Peter Stein, Stage Director
Ferdinand Wögerbauer, Set Design
Annamaria Heinreich, Costumes
Joachim Barth, Lighting
Lia Tsolaki, Choreography
Heinz Wanitschek, Stage Combat
Thomas Lang, Chorus Master


Željko Lučić, Macbeth
Tatiana Serjan, Lady Macbeth
Dmitry Belosselskiy, Banquo
Giuseppe Filianoti, Macduff
Antonio Poli, Malcolm, King Duncan’s son
Anna Malavasi, Lady-in-Waiting to Lady Macbeth
Gianluca Buratto, Doctor
Andrè Schuen, Servant to Macbeth
Liviu Gheorghe Burz, Murderer
Ion Tibrea, A Herald
Michael Wilder, First Appearance
Benedikt Gurtner, Second Appearance/Fleance
Philipp Schweighofer, Third Appearance
Robert Christott, Stephan Schäfer, Volker Wahl, Three Witches

Members of the Angelika Prokopp Sommerakademie of the Vienna Philharmonic, Stage Music
Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic


The witches address General Macbeth, returning victorious from battle, as King of Scotland. This prophecy also reveals his own, most secret desire: from now on, Macbeth allows himself to be governed by his hunger for power, paired with a paranoid will to destroy. Basically, though, he is weak and frightened by himself, and his wife spurs him into action: “You are ambitious, Macbeth… you would be great, but will you prove wicked? Fraught with misdeeds is the path to power, and woe to him who sets an unsure foot upon it and draws back!” The “lust of the throne” which inebriates Lady Macbeth serves the childless pair of murderers as a dubious substitute for love.
Verdi’s first Shakespeare opera (1847/1865) is an impressive essay on a question pondered since Antiquity: how political power – in this case, illegitimately gained – is attained, maintained and lost, with which consequences for society and at what cost for the individual in power: the famous sleepwalking scene shows even the apparently unscrupulous Lady Macbeth as an inwardly broken victim of her own repression. None of Verdi’s other operas is so steeped in a ghostly, nocturnal musical atmosphere – despite the pop-song attitude his witches strike at times – as this tragedy of power.