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Gerald Carpenter: Opera Santa Barbara Makes an Oratorio of ‘Macbeth’

Mark Rucker will star in the title role in Saturday's performance at The Granada

Opera Santa Barbara will close its 2009-10 season with a gala concert performance — at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in The Granada — of Giuseppe Verdi’s 1846 opera Macbeth, starring baritone Mark Rucker as the ambitious thane and soprano Rosa D’Imperio as his even more ambitious lady, with bass Terry Cook as Banquo, tenor Jeffrey Springer as Macduff, and tenor Chad Berlinghieri as Malcolm.

Baritone Mark Rucker
Baritone Mark Rucker

Maestro Valery Ryvkin will conduct the orchestra and chorus. The opera, done in oratorio style, with the chorus and orchestra on stage, will be sung in Italian with English super-titles.

For this, his first run at a Shakespeare adaptation, Verdi prepared the lion’s share of the libretto himself. Except for confronting Macbeth with a whole chorus of witches, instead of the usual three, he sticks pretty close to the original.

Lady Macbeth’s “Sleep Walking Scene” rivals the “Mad Scene” in Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

If, like the latter opera, Macbeth sounds more like Italian melodrama than Scottish tragedy, it is all the more effective as a music drama because of it. With its blood-curdling intrigues and rousing choruses, the opera is closely akin to Il Tovatore of six years later.

To purchase single tickets, click here or call the Granada box office at 805.899.2222.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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