An opera-thriller about the corrupting force of power
The State OperaApproximate running time
2 hours 50 minutes, 1 intermission 20 minutesLanguage
In Italian, subtitles in Czech, EnglishPremiere
June 11, 2015
Rampant ambition, unbridled lust for power and mysterious oracles – these are the ingredients of the psychological opera-thriller and the first of the three unique creative unions between Giuseppe Verdi and William Shakespeare.
State Opera Chorus
State Opera Orchestra
Throughout his life, Giuseppe Verdi was an ardent admirer of William Shakespeare, the globally celebrated Elizabethan playwright. When in the summer of 1846 the Italian master sought the subject for his tenth opera, he ultimately opted for Macbeth. A supreme operatic dramatist, Verdi recognised how much potential the story of the corrupting force of power offered. In Macbeth, he started pursuing the path towards musical drama, in which singing reflects the characters’ psychology and inner emotions, with the dramatic content being far more important than bel canto.
For the Italian opera scene, Macbeth was a bold choice indeed. Lacking a love story, which was unprecedented for the genre, with the plot replete with violence, murder, military conflict, gruesome actions and supernatural elements, the big question was how the local audience would respond to the piece. Yet the first night, on 14 March 1847 in Florence, conducted by Verdi himself, was a resounding success. The new opera was soon staged to great acclaim all over Italy, as well as in a number of theatres in Europe, North and South America. In 1865, Verdi substantially revised it for the Théâtre-Lyrique in Paris, which presented the new version, in French translation, on 21 April that year. The second Macbeth, however, was poorly received and did not fare well. Only in the 1960s did the opera enjoy a revival, and its revised version, in Italian, has ever since been a staple of the repertoire of theatres worldwide.
Surprisingly, it took a very long time before Verdi’s Macbeth was presented in Prague. It was first staged here on 30 November 1935 at the Neues deutsches Theater (today’s State Opera).
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Where to buy tickets
The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. On 1 May at 9am we started selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of October 2022.
What to wear?
By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.
Parking at the State opera
While visiting the State Opera, you can take the slip road on Wilsonova street from the left lane close to the State Opera building to the Parking Centrum above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.
Buffets at the State Opera
No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!