Music: Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave based on William Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Opera Queensland. QPAC Concert Hall.13 April 2012. Conductor: Nicholas Braithwaite

Opera Queensland began their 2012 season with a concert production of Verdi’s Macbeth. Given the limitations of a concert presentation, without sets and costumes but with some effective lighting effects, it was a credible interpretation of the work. Michael Lewis was a commanding and committed Macbeth, having sung the role many times throughout Australia. Despite impressive credits, and having also sung the role before, Elizabeth Whitehouse as Lady Macbeth found the demands of the part a little beyond her on the night. It was Bulgarian tenor Kaludi Kaludow who provided the vocal brilliance as Macduff. His voice was thrilling, particularly in his Act Four aria. Andrew Collis was a fine Banquo, with Opera Queensland stalwarts Emily Burke (Lady in Waiting), Virgilio Marino (Malcolm) and Guy Booth (Doctor) lending strong support. The hit of the night, however, was the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Under the baton of Nicholas Braithwaite their playing was fluid and disciplined, bringing out the color and passion of Verdi’s melody-rich score. High praise must also be registered for the Opera Queensland Chorus, whose pitch-perfect singing elevated the performance to a higher level.

Peter Pinne

Images: (above) Michael Lewis as Macbeth & (below) L – r Guy Booth (Doctor), Emily Burke (Lady in Waiting), Elizabeth Whitehouse (Lady Macbeth), Nicholas Braithwaite (Conductor), Michael Lewis (Macbeth), Andrew Collis (Banquo), Kaludi Kaludow (Macduff) and Virgilio Marino (Malcolm).

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