Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of Metropolitan Opera's MACBETH

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Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of Metropolitan Opera's MACBETH

Following a controversy surrounding Plácido Domingo and his last minute departure, the Met Opera's production of Verdi's Macbeth opened this week. Find out what the critics had to say!

Soprano Anna Netrebko created a sensation when she made her Met role debut as Lady Macbeth in 2014, opposite baritone Željko Lučić in the title role. Now, the two stars reunite to reprise their acclaimed portrayals in Verdi's gripping Shakespeare adaptation. Marco Armiliato conducts a standout cast that also features tenor Matthew Polenzani as Macduff and bass Ildar Abdrazakov as Banquo, in Adrian Noble's evocative production.

Read the reviews below!


Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times: Mr. Lucic has the advantage of being a true baritone. On Wednesday, as always, his singing was warm, mellow and full-bodied without being forced. He brought melting legato phrasing to lyrical passages. His sound may lack some Italianate richness, and his tone tends to be focused, with minimal vibrato. This can expose moments of faulty pitch, which happened on Wednesday - especially during his final scene, when Macbeth, in a grim soliloquy, realizes that he is about to be vanquished for his murderous ambition. Yet, during much of the evening, especially in Macbeth's brooding moments, he sang with grave beauty and affecting emotional vulnerability.

Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review: At her best, though, Netrebko showed the same captivating presence and vocal power that have made her performances so thrilling to watch over the years: her reprise of "Si colmi il calice" at the end of Act II's banquet scene seethed with anger, as though to tell her husband "we're going to stay here and have a good time, damn you." Her sleepwalking scene was transfixing, showing the best qualities of her voice on a night that betrayed some wobbles and shaky intonation elsewhere. In "Una macchia è qui tuttora," she boasted a full but clear upper range, thick velvet in her middle, and a bracing, meaty chest voice, crafting arching phrases and brilliant contrasts in a starkly dramatic rendition of the scene.

Francisco Salazar, Opera Wire: In the title role, Željko Lučić had a very uneven performance that did little to convey a character. Again, context is everything with this particular performance and it was undeniably hard for him to enter the arena with little preparation. Still, he was brought in mainly because he is a Macbeth veteran and it was somewhat surprising to find such inconsistency in a role that has been developed for nearly a decade. In this case, Lučić's Macbeth did not develop beyond a hesitant king.

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