An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Lefty’s Review – Macbeth

It isn’t often that a rather poor college student gets to go to something fun like this.  But Lady Luck decided to be kind and offer an olive branch.  Sheer chance got us into this performance, and a good thing too.  It was a lot of fun.

A little background first, for those who don’t know.  Macbeth is an opera by Giuseppi Verde.  It is the operatic version of the play by William Shakespeare.  Since it is an opera, instead of a play, it is shorter than the original production, but in this case, that isn’t so bad.

This version of the performance, put on by the the Anchorage Opera group, at the Discovery Theatre in the Performing Arts Center (PAC).  This was the last show, so that made it especially nice.  If one is going to a big number like this, it is always better to be at the first show or the last.  In this case, the final show was definitely worth it.  It was clear that all the performers were putting their all into it.

The First Act was very nice.  The introduction of the characters was handled very well.  There was Macbeth, portrayed by Todd Thomas.  He had a very commanding tone, which worked well.  Along with him was Banquo, who was by far the best performer of the group.  He was done by Derrick Parker.  His lyrical tone worked very well in this performance.  There was a kind of jovial method to his work, even at the very serious parts.  That’s very good for a performer.

Then there was Lady Macbeth, performed by Brenda Harris.  Although she didn’t seem as manipulative as her character was meant to be, she was in no way bad at the role.  Her voice work was amazing, especially some of the high notes, which can’t have been easy to do.

The First Act also introduced the witches.  They are by far my favorite part.  Both of the play and the opera.  The sets for them were very nice, with stony pieces that make it look like Stonehenge.  There were also lights that make it look like fireplaces.  The whole dark ambience of the opera was very well done.  It was very reminiscent of the original play.

The large choral numbers were also very well done.  With the witches, it was the most fun, because of the dark tones, but all of them were done well.

Of course, there were some issues.  But of those, most had nothing to do with the play.  One problem was that the audience seemed compelled to applaud every couple of minutes.  Now, it’s not a bad thing to enjoy a performance, and to signify this enjoyment.  Far from it.  This is a very good thing.  But when it is happening every couple minutes, it slows down the performance, and probably makes things more difficult for the performers, who have to slow down their rhythm for this.  Any acting has a rhythm to it.  When you are rehearsing, it is developed.  But when the audience interrupts, that makes things more complicated.  Of course, that is speculation on my part.

The other issue was rather amusing.  It was the choreography of the battle sequence in the third act.  Of course, that isn’t a criticism, since these people were there to do an opera, not fight a battle.  Still, it was funny how silly some of the fighting was.  But again, it’s understandable.

In any case, the show is done.  There are no more to see.  So, if you missed it, sucks to be you.  It was quite a show.

Peace out,

Lefty

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Comments on: "Lefty’s Review – Macbeth" (6)

  1. suburbantimewaster said:

    I don’t really like operas, but it sounds like it was very entertaining.

    • Most assuredly was. A great show, that is done, so nobody can ever see again.

      • suburbantimewaster said:

        I don’t know about that, alot of people like to seek cameras and post plays on youtube.

      • There’s a difference between YouTube plays and this. For one thing, seeing something live is a million times better than it could ever hope to be on YouTube. Plus, if one doesn’t see something based off of one of the greatest tragedies put out by Shakespeare in person, it totally loses its power. So yeah, even if you see it online, you won’t have truly seen it.

      • suburbantimewaster said:

        Thanks for the advice. I’m kind of new to these things.

      • Anytime. Always glad to help put out culture into America’s zeitgeist. We have lost enough of it to Michael Bay. We need to get some back.

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