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5th Performance of Macbeth

Thomas Hampson, Photo by Terrence McCarthy* Notes *
Last night I was invited at the last minute to hear Macbeth again, from box seats, so I gave the opera another try. Of course there was no booing this time, so I did laugh a good deal less. From Box O, I was able to see the green slime on Duncan after his murder. Also, I could see an entire shoe trying-on scene with Lady Macbeth and some witches that I missed the other times, in Act II Scene 2. One of the problems with the production is that Lady Macbeth is just so crazy from the get-go, chained at the top of the box. By the time she has her mad scene, Lady Macbeth is fairly subdued, she doesn't seem much crazier at this point than at the beginning.

The set still had problems with its loudness. Again I heard some stage directions just before the upstage curtain started moving, this is after Macbeth's "Mi si affaccia un pugnal?" in Act I Scene 2.

The singing was consistent, Thomas Hampson sounded especially great in "Pietà, rispetto, amore." The only person who was notably better was Alfredo Portilla as Macduff. This could be because of acoustics, some voices are dampened in the rear of the orchestra, or it could be that Portilla has been working hard. He did withdrawal from the role of Pinkerton he was supposed to sing next week. Portilla did have one note near the end of his big aria that wasn't quite right.   

* Tattling *
Most of the patrons of Box O were very quiet, none of them had mobile phones that rang nor watch alarms during the hour. However, the women in seats 1 and 2 whispered and giggled a great deal in the first half. The staging is so loud, I didn't feel right about hushing them. Plus, I was someone else's guest, and I wanted to be at least somewhat gracious. Unfortunately, by the second half, which this pair of women were slightly late for, they were speaking aloud during the music. Thankfully they did become more and more silent as the night wore on, I believe one of them might have fallen asleep.

Additionally, my companion noted that I was wearing blue jeans to the opera, and she had never seen me wear such apparel, even when we were at university. I promised I would tattle on myself, and now I have. I have no real excuse, it was just what I was wearing that day.