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“Thoughtful and penetrating” production of Macbeth


Issued by The NBR New Zealand Opera

19 July 2010

“Thoughtful and penetrating” production of Macbeth comes to NZ

“Down to the last detail, Albery's production is thoughtful and penetrating, the evening absorbed by the enthralled audience in pin-drop silence.” [The Independent, UK]

Verdi’s Macbeth is one of the greatest operas Shakespeare’s work has inspired, and in the hands of Tim Albery – one of the world’s top opera directors – the result is “a fast, vivid, bloody and energetic Macbeth that grabs and keeps the audience’s attention” [Telegraph, UK]. The NBR New Zealand Opera’s Genesis Energy season of Macbeth, opening in Auckland on 18 September and Wellington on 9 October, is a restaging of Tim Albery’s award-winning production, created for Opera North in the UK in 2008.

Tim Albery is the operatic master of getting straight to the point. “I go for extreme narrative clarity,” he says. “I tend to pare things right back and Macbeth has a very simple narrative thrust. What I like about it is it’s just so savage and brutal. It doesn’t mess about. No long overtures. Verdi just gets on with it.

“And,” he adds, “in order to get to the heart of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, I’ve kept things simple which allows the audience to really zone in on these people and experience the strong sense of tragedy.”

Macbeth is the classic tale of ambition, corruption and bloody revenge. Truthful to the play, it illustrates with shocking clarity the trail of death and destruction caused by an unbridled lust for power, and its tragic dénouement – this is an example of enthralling, hard-hitting operatic drama at its very best.

Aidan Lang, General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera, says Albery has a modern aesthetic sense which is reflected in this production. “It’s quite austere visually,” he says. “It’s backed up with a sound dramaturgy and is completely truthful and honest to the text. Tim gets intense performances from his singers and as an audience member you’ll be drawn into this production and taken on a powerful emotional rollercoaster.”

As with the original Opera North production, which won the prestigious “Opera 2008” Manchester Evening News Theatre Award, Italian soprano Antonia Cifrone sings Lady Macbeth, a role for which she was universally lauded. The title role is filled by thrilling Romanian baritone Michele Kalmandi. New Zealand-born Jud Arthur, whose resounding bass is well known to local audiences, sings Banquo, and returning following his exciting portrayal of Lensky in 2009’s Eugene Onegin, Russian tenor Roman Shulackoff is Macduff.

Genesis Energy season of Macbeth

Auckland – Aotea Centre, THE EDGE

Sat 18, Thu 23, Sat 25 September (7.30pm), Tue 21 September (6.30pm)


Wellington – St James Theatre

Sat 9, Thu 14, Sat 16 October (7.30pm), Tue 12 October (6pm)


Single Ticket Prices $49.50 to $187.50. Concessions available for senior citizens, students and group bookings. Service fees apply.

Bookings: The NBR NZ Opera Box Office, Tel (09) 379 4068 or (04) 499 8343, or:

Wellington: Ticketek, Tel 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or

Auckland: The Edge, Tel 0800 BUYTICKETS (0800 289 842) or

Group Bookings

Opera for Groups offers great incentives for social or corporate groups, including a 10% discount on each ticket for groups of 10 or more people plus one ticket free for every 10 purchased. Call The NBR New Zealand Opera for more information.

The Opening Night performances of Macbeth in Auckland and Wellington are gala charity nights in support of the Genesis Oncology Trust. Tickets to these two performances are subject to a voluntary $10 donation with all proceeds going directly to the Trust.

Further information:



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