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Giuseppe Verdi’s powerful opera Macbeth sees a barnstorming staging by legendary stage director Harry Kupfer at the newly reopened Staatsoper Unter den Linden. In this new production, filmed in 4K Ultra High Definition, superstars Plácido Domingo and Anna Netrebko are starring as Scottish general Macbeth and his power-hungry wife, Lady Macbeth. Domingo “still fascinates the audience after decades” and Netrebko performs “perhaps the best role of her life” yet (rbb24). Kwangchul Youn, on whom the honorary title of “Berliner Kammersänger” was bestowed on the occasion of this production, and Verdi specialist Fabio Sartori shine as Banquo and Macduff. Maestro Daniel Barenboim leads the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Staatsopernchor, who are portraying the many-layered motifs of the opera’s characters “at their very best” (NZZ). With its black marble halls and its larger-than-life-projections, the stage design by Hans Schavernoch is striking. Video installations, such as burning battlefields in the background, expand the stage immensely, making the spectator believe to be part of the story. The audience witnesses the eternal danger of power and corruption. Also the mainly black-and-white contrasts of the stage design, as well as in Yan Tax’s costumes, expressively highlight the thin line in Macbeth between right and wrong, between illusion and mania and between the thirst for power and the knowledge of its consequences.

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