Melodramma in four acts - second version (1865)

Composer Giuseppe Verdi · Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave after William Shakespeare
With german and english surtitles

Thursday, 29. October 2020
07:00 pm – 10:10 pm

Duration est. 3 hours 10 minutes · 1. + 2. Akt (est. 07:00 pm - 08:35 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:35 pm - 09:05 pm ) · 3. Akt (est. 09:05 pm - 10:15 pm )

Open ticket sales

Premiere at 02. October 2008


Please be aware that we had to temporarily extend our orchestra pit. Therefore your view on the stage might be limited and the distribution of price categories in the stalls are subject to change.

Due to the recent exceedance of the threshold value of new infections in Munich, a mouth and nose cover must temporarily be worn for the entire duration of your stay at the Nationaltheater, not only on the way to the seat and when leaving the building, but also during the production. Thank you for your cooperation! 

All information about visiting the Nationaltheater can be found here.

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Dates & Tickets

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Giampaolo Bisanti
Martin Kušej
Set Design
Martin Zehetgruber
Costume Design
Werner Fritz
Reinhard Traub
Stellario Fagone
Olaf A. Schmitt
Sebastian Huber

Željko Lučić
Alex Esposito
Lady Macbeth
Liudmyla Monastyrska
Dama di Lady Macbeth
Mirjam Mesak
Saimir Pirgu
Dean Power
Martin Snell
Christian Rieger
Christian Rieger
Erscheinung 1
Andrew Hamilton
Erscheinung 2
Sarah Gilford
Erscheinung 3
Solist/en des Tölzer Knabenchors
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester

Cast for all dates

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In honeyed tones, Lord and Lady Macbeth reveal their passionate and bizarre emotions to us. But behind this beauty there lurks an abyss, which Verdi unveils with one of the cruelest dramas in the history of world literature. In their struggle to seize power and retain it once it has been usurped, Macbeth and his lady commit one murder after another. The unwavering nature of their desire imbues their love with a radicality that would have been unthinkable on the operatic stage before this work. “The subject matter of this opera is neither political nor religious: it is fantastic,” wrote Verdi and brought Shakespeare’s play closer to a more “romantic” reading. In actual fact, the witches, ghosts and apparitions, the eerie elements, which dominate the musical and dramatic flow, in short the whole world of this opera can be regarded as an outward image of its protagonists’ inner state.


Act 1
Macbeth and Banquo meet witches, who greet Macbeth as the Thane of Cawdor and future king of Scotland. They prophesy to Banquo that he will be the father of kings. When messengers of King Duncan bring news of the Thane of Cawdor’s execution and announce that Macbeth has been chosen to succeed him, one of the prophecies has already come true.

In a letter from her husband Lady Macbeth learns of the witches’ predictions, and she urges him to stop at nothing, even murder, on his path to power. That same night Macbeth kills King Duncan, but shrinks from leaving the murder weapon beside the sleeping guards in order to incriminate them. Lady Macbeth thus carries out this part of the plan herself. At daybreak, the murder is discovered. Macbeth and his wife join in with the chorus of mourners.

Act 2
Macbeth is the new king. He is disturbed by the prophecy about Banquo’s heirs becoming kings and hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. That night, Banquo is seized by dark forebodings.

Macbeth and his wife organize a large feast, and the king announces a drinking song of the queen. Macbeth is informed of the murder of Banquo and Fleance’s escape, and shortly afterwards Banquo’s ghost appears to him. Macbeth’s apparent insanity causes a commotion among the guests at the feast. Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth’s bravery and calls him a weakling. Macduff senses the truth and leaves the feast in order to bring Malcolm, Duncan’s son who fled, back to Scotland.

Act 3
Macbeth again consults the witches, who are busy with a horrible “nameless work”. They therefore send apparitions to answer Macbeth’s questions. The first warns the king about Macduff. The second encourages his murderousness, saying that “no man of woman born” can harm him. The third apparition is a crowned child who predicts that Macbeth will remain invincible “until he sees Birnam Wood come towards him”. Finally Macbeth manages
to make out eight kings, the last of whom looks like Banquo. Macbeth faints, and is reawakened by dancing spirits of the air.

Lady Macbeth hears about the latest prophecies from her husband. The royal couple become increasingly murderous and decide to burn down Macduff’s castle and have Banquo’s son killed.

Act 4
Scottish refugees lament the suffering of their country, which has become a tomb for its children. Macduff mourns his wife and children, who have been murdered by Macbeth. Malcolm meets English soldiers in Birnam Wood, not far from Macbeth’s castle, and camouflages his army using branches and leaves from the wood.

The chambermaid and a doctor witness Lady -Macbeth walking in her sleep and talking about the crimes she has committed.

Macbeth is plucking up his courage for the coming battle, and news of his wife’s death does little to deter him. He is informed that Birnam Wood is moving towards his castle. In a fierce fight, Macduff kills Macbeth. Again the prophecy comes true, because Macduff was “from his mother’s womb untimely ripp’d”. Malcolm is joyfully greeted as the new king of Scotland.

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Giampaolo Bisanti wurde in Mailand geboren und studierte dort Dirigieren, Klarinette, Klavier und Komposition am Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi. Er dirigiert regelmäßig an Opernhäusern u. a. in Venedig, Zürich, Berlin, Lissabon, Barcelona, Wien, Strasbourg, Seoul, Stockholm und Tel Aviv. Seit 2016 ist er Generalmusikdirektor am Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Italien. Zuletzt leitete er u. a. Anna Bolena an der Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Andrea Chénier an der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Madama Butterfly am Gran Teatre del Liceu in Bercelona, Norma am Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse sowie Macbeth, Rigoletto und Tosca an der Wiener Staatsoper. An der Bayerischen Staatsoper debütierte er in der Spielzeit 2018/19 mit La bohème. Dirigate hier 2020/21: Macbeth sowie Giuseppe Verdis I masnadieri. (Stand: 2020)

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