Macbeth in French at Verdi Festival
Opening up the 20th edition of the Verdi Festival, which runs from September 11 through October 10 in Parma and Busseto, will be a performance of Macbeth in concert form, here for the first time in modern times in the 1865 French version.
The restoration of the French lyrics, which Candida Mantica worked around the score of David Lawton’s critical edition, takes its cue from the version of Macbeth that was performed on April 21, 1865 at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris, in French. After that, the French version was basically abandoned in favor of the Italian translation, which premiered at La Scala in the fall of 1865.
As we know, Verdi based the French version on the Italian score of Macbeth which was performed in Florence in 1847, and made ample revisions beginning in 1864. Verdi wrote the following to his publisher, Tito Ricordi, in a letter dated November 2, 1864:
“Now the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris wants to do Macbeth translated in French. They’ve asked me to compose arias for dances, and make some changes that I would love to extend to other parts as well, in order to give the opera more character.”
Macbeth, in concert form, the first modern performance of the 1865 French version.
Translation by Charles Louis Étienne Nuittier and Alexandre Beaumont. Overseen by Candida Mantica, based on David Lawton’s critical edition.
Parma 11 and 13 September, Parco Ducale in Parma.
The Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic Orchestra, The Choir of the Teatro Regio di Parma, conductor Roberto Abbado.