Chicago Opera Theater to Present Ernest Bloch's MACBETH, 9/13-21

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Chicago Opera Theater to Present Ernest Bloch's MACBETH, 9/13-21

Chicago Opera Theater (COT) presents the Chicago premiere of Ernest Bloch's provocative and rarely-performed "Macbeth" at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E. Randolph Drive) September 13-21, 2014. Conducted by Francesco Milioto and directed and designed by COT General Director Andreas Mitisek, "Macbeth" features the collective talents of COT, the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Apollo Chorus under the direction of Stephen Alltop. Together they provide an expressive soundscape for this bone-chilling thriller based on themes of ambition, treachery and deception. The opera will be performed in English, maintaining much of Shakespeare's original text. For tickets and more information please visit: chicagooperatheater.org.

"The 'other' 'Macbeth' is our 61st Chicago Premiere. The brilliant 26-year-old Bloch wrote this work in 1906 amidst the rich whirl of music at the turn of century from such contemporaries as Wagner, Richard Strauss, and Debussy," said Mitisek. "It's Bloch's unique compositional voice which makes his Macbeth an amazing rediscovery of tremendous passion, full of beautiful, soaring music," said Mitisek. "We are fortunate to partner with Chicago Sinfonietta and the Apollo Chorus for this new telling of a familiar story."

Tickets are available at chicagooperatheater.org for $35- $125.

Performance Schedule
Saturday, September 13, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 17, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, September 19, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 21, 3 p.m.

Composed between 1904 and 1906, Bloch's "Macbeth" primarily features original text from William Shakespeare's 17th century masterpiece and compresses the standard five acts into three. It received its first performance on November 30, 1910 by the Opéra-Comique in Paris. After the premiere production, the opera was staged in Naples in 1938. It was later banned before a revival in Rome and Trieste in 1953. The opera has been staged twice in the United States, in English, at New York's Juilliard School of Music in 1973 and at Long Beach Opera as part of its 2013 Season.

Ernest Bloch's "Macbeth" maintains the majority of Shakespeare's original play. The opera contains seven tableaux, with the prelude comprising the first tableau, and each of the three acts containing two tableaux.

Upon Macbeth's victorious return from a war between Scotland and Norway, three witches confront the great general about the Scottish king's decision to label him a traitor. The witches predict that Macbeth will one day become king, inspiring him to kill Scotland's monarch with the help of his wife. Macbeth assumes the throne, but learns that betrayal comes with a price.

Creative Team
Stage Director and Production Design: Andreas Mitisek
Conductor: Francesco Milioto
Orchestra: Chicago Sinfonietta
Chorus Master: Stephen Alltop
Chorus: Apollo Chorus
Nmon Ford - Macbeth
Suzan Hanson - Lady Macbeth

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