Murder, witchcraft &political intrigue

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Opera South East which draws its members from all over the county is to perform Verdi’s Macbeth this weekend in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

The production will be shown at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings on Friday April 22 and Saturday April 23 at 7.30pm.

Shakespeare’s dark tale of witchcraft, murder and ruthless ambition has been given the operatic treatment by Giuseppe Verdi with a thrilling score full of sound and fury.

Performed fully staged, with orchestra conducted by Kenneth Roberts, this production by the award-winning Opera South East stars Peter Grevatt (D’Oyly Carte and Holland Park) as Macbeth, Richard Woodall (Grange Park, ENO and Opera North) as Banquo and Mari Wyn Wiliams (Garsington) as Lady Macbeth.

The director, Fraser Grant, will give a pre-show talk about his take as a Scotsman on directing Macbeth on the Saturday evening at 6pm for ticket holders on either night.

He commented: “In this production we explore the dark and mysterious world of Shakespeare’s play. The witches foretell the prophecy and the writing is on the wall. With its devastating mix of murder, witchcraft and political intrigue, Verdi’s opera of Shakespeare’s masterpiece has thrilled audiences for over a century. Verdi regarded Shakespeare as ‘one of my very special poets, and I have had him in my hands from my earliest youth, and I have read and re-read him continually.’ This is a nightmarish dream, set in a dark void, somewhere between now and then. The production aims to highlight the destructive power of ambition as narrated by the Gaelic Chorus of Witches. The corrupt court of Macbeth will literally be torn apart. It’s not to be missed.”

Tickets £20, £16, £12 (£18, £14 & £10, Under-16s free) from www.whiterocktheatre.org.uk or 01424 462288. Sung in English.