"There is the noble Banquo (Otto Maidi), Macbeth's antithesis, and it is this trio of phenomenal voices – supported by a seven-strong chorus, who play numerous roles, and a magnificent 12 piece band under the superb conductorship Premil Petrovic – who trace the rise and fall of the despot.
And it is excellent.
The performers are brilliant, the score utterly captivating and the execution by the chamber orchestra with members from APO is nearly impeccable – yet as a dramatic performance piece that seeks to challenge and interrogate the certainties of its audience, it seems to lack the ability to transcend its stylised aesthetics and connect an audience to move beyond an ideological concept." (THEATRE REVIEW)
"the singing – especially Nobulumko Mngxekeza’s, as Lady Macbeth – is top drawer... this has got to be one of the best shows on offer right now." (METRO)
The conflict in today's Congo is an inspired setting for this striking adaptation of Verdi's arresting opera.
In this re-creation, a group of Congolese refugees has stumbled upon a trunk filled with sheet music, costumes and gramophone recordings of Verdi's Macbeth. This theatrical paraphernalia is the catalyst for a dramatic re-telling of Shakespeare's tale of greed, tyranny and remorse, with the Macbeths as warlords, the three witches as double-crossing businessmen and Dunsinane as the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.
War rages over access to mineral resources.
Macbeth has been adapted from Verdi’s original score by Belgian composer Fabrizio Cassol. Performed by a 12-piece on-stage chamber orchestra – the spirited trans-Balkan ‘No Borders Orchestra’ – conducted by Premil Petrovic with 10 rich-voiced South African singers, and with captivating lighting design by Felice Ross, this is theatre for today: moving, fascinating, fast-paced and threaded through with African musical and theatrical influences.
"Undoubtedly the most exciting, provocative stage director in South Africa." (Sunday Independent, South Africa)
“An unforgettable musical and dramatic experience.” (The Argus, South Africa)
"This is not just another night at the opera, it's a séance - where high Western art meets a pan-African ethos, tongue firmly in post-colonial cheek." (The Star, South Africa)
“There can be no denying the power and originality of this astonishing appropriation of Verdi’s Macbeth…there’s blazing intensity and savage wit in Bailey’s staging, too… Nobulumko Mngxekeza who is positively a knockout as a fearsome, fearless Lady Macbeth… One comes away chilled and thrilled, but also awed.” ***** (Telegraph, UK)
Post show Q&A
Q&A following the performance in the Playhouse on Wednesday 16 September.
Festival Blog posts
- Double, double toil and trouble: Brett Bailey on Macbeth
- Congo, the Great Forgetting and Brisbane Festival
- The Profound Presence of the Congo
TAKE PART IN OUR FESTIVAL CONVERSATIONS
Join artists from the show along with a panel for Festival Conversation ‘New Notes in Opera’. This commences Sunday 6 September at 2pm at Studio 1, QPAC. Entry is free.
Join artists from the show along with a panel for Festival Conversation ‘Africa, Arts and the Great Forgetting’. This commences Tuesday 15 September at 12pm at Auditorium 1, State Library of Queensland. Entry is free.
Conceptualized, designed and directed by Brett Bailey
Music by Fabrizio Cassol from Verdi’s MACBETH
Conducted by Premil Petrovic
Lighting by Felice Ross
Choreographed by Natalie Fisher
Co-produced by the Barbican with the support of the EU culture fund, KFDA/KVS, Wiener Festwochen, Theaterformen Festival and La Ferme du Buisson.
Macbeth Owen Metsileng
Lady Macbeth Nobulumko Mngxekeza
Banquo Otto Maidi
Chorus Sandile Kamle, Jacqueline Manciya, Monde Masimini, Siphesihle Mdena, Bulelani Madondile, Philisa Sibeko, Thomakazi Holland
No Borders Orchestra Stanko Madic (1st violin), Jelena Dimitrijevic, (2nd violin), Sasa Mirkovic (viola), Vinko Rucner (cello), Ilin-Dime Dimovski (double bass), Jasna Nadles (flute), Nenad Nesic (clarinet), Milos Dopsaj (bassoon), Nenad Markovic (trumpet), Viktor Ilieski (trombone)
Percussionists Cherilee Adams, Dylan Tabisher
Producer and Managing Director Barbara Mathers
Technical Manager Miguel Munoz
Company Manager Catherine Henegan
Stage Manager Pule Sethlako
AV engineer & technical assistant Carlo Thompson
Re-lighter Tal Bitton
Sound-engineer Pierre-Olivier Boulant
Video illustration and animation Roger Williams
Photographs projected during the opera Marcus Bleasdale/VII & Cedric Gerbehaye
Subtitle text Brett Bailey
Props Cristina Domenica Salvoldi
Costume Coordinator Penny Simpson
Administrator & Production Assistant Helena Erasmus
Copyist Stephane Payen
Publicity photographs Morne Van Zyl & Brett Bailey
International Producers Frans Brood Productions, UK Arts International and Arts Projects Australia
Production Third World Bun Fight http://thirdworldbunfight.co.za/macbeth/
Third World Bunfight/Brett Bailey Macbeth: Behind-the-scenes
Congo, the Great Forgetting and Brisbane Festival - View blog post
Double, Double Toil and Trouble Brett Bailey on Macbeth - View article
Macbeth, Barbican, review: 'an astonishing appropriation - View article
Brett Bailey as the dictator for all seasons - View article
'Third World Bunfight / Brett Bailey Macbeth' at the Barbican Centre - View article
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