U.S. Professional Premiere
Adaptation into a 110 minute one act for 7 singers and off stage chorus by Andreas Mitisek.
Long Beach Opera production performed at a ship terminal in the Harbor: Entering the carefully enclosed area that was to serve as the performance space for Ernest Bloch’s rarely performed opera, Macbeth, I found myself seated at that fateful wooden dinner table in Cawdor Castle where its guilt-ridden lord and his murderous spouse contended with an unexpected guest: the specter of the recently murdered Banquo. I should say “virtually seated,” for my assigned chair was A-1, perhaps two feet away from the lengthy dining table itself, and as the evening progressed, I constantly had to move my feet to keep from tripping up the performers. This was a singular experience for me in a lifetime of theater going. I have been in front rows and quite close up to the action many times before, but never this close! I felt as if I might be expected to leap up and stab somebody or give Lady Macbeth a punch in the jaw. -–– Opera West
Chicago Opera Theater production at the Harris Theater: Mitisek’s stark environment of flowing white draperies and a single, successively repositioned banquet table was grounded by a large screen upstage, upon which video designer Sean T. Cawelti projected images suggestive of the story’s omnipresent gloom and ghosts. The three witches acted as videographers throughout the evening, which provided a constantly evolving flood of realtime footage complimented by additional visual bites captured from cameras placed at odd angles in the wings and in the flies above the proscenium. Characters were garbed in a vaguely Goth/punk style, with the supporting players all decked out in black lipstick. ...the concept did provide an unusual visual element that effectively mirrored the fluidity of the music itself. –– Opera News
Ever-resourceful LBO head Andreas Mitisek -- multi-tasking as stage director and production designer -- took the company to yet another bizarre location, a room within the World Cruise Center in San Pedro close by the Vincent Thomas Bridge. He placed the audience on two sets of risers facing each other, with a long wooden table between them doubling as a stage within a few feet of the front rows. If the intention was to make everyone feel the inward-looking claustrophobia of this setting of Shakespeare’s play, it succeeded. All made a gripping, close-up case, in Bloch’s 1950 English translation, for a rare piece that deserves to be heard.
...a remarkable production, lush and expressive!
Mitisek's sexy Production... Chicago Opera Theater’s production tells the ancient tale in graphic symbolism while using the sort of multimedia gadgetry that allows both a generation steeped in operatic traditions and a newer audience that must be encouraged if the art form is to continue to be riveted.
A Chilling Macbeth… The atmosphere created by Andreas Mitisek, … is claustrophobic. The action unfolds in a cold, looming space containing only a long, rough-hewn wooden table and a few stools, At times tall, billowing curtains serve as side walls and projections dominate the space, Clouds race by a thunder-storm speed, and periodically giant, real-time images of the singers unfurl like surveillance videos above their heads. Watching the Macbeths plot and seize the throne, the audience becomes spy, fulfilling its worst fears. Not only were we eyewitnesses to their lies and crime, we had something the power-obsessed couple never dreamed of – video footage to prove it. …. Disturbingly timely.
Unique, unforgettable! Ernest Bloch’s ‘Macbeth’ at Long Beach Opera. This was a singular experience for me in a lifetime of theater going.
★★★½ With Mitisek's incisive direction and austere but imaginative production design emphasizing the expressionistic aspects, one is swept up in the action and held at rapt attention for the duration. Through skillful editing and eliminating intermissions, COT's "Macbeth" runs a taut two hours. ...a gripping production.
Conductor: Ben Makino
Stage Director/Production Design: Andreas Mitisek
Light Designer: Dan Weingarten
Macbeth: Nmon Ford
Lady Macbeth: Suzan Hanson
Banquo/Duncan/Lennox: Doug Jones
1st Witch: Ariel Pisturino
2nd Witch: Danielle Marcelle Bond
3rd Witch: Nandani Sinha
Macduff/1st Murderer: Robin Buck
Chorus: Long Beach Camerata Singers